sport

Ruiz hit with 25-match ban

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been banned for 25 matches after testing positive for amphetamine use.

The 33-year-old, whose suspension will begin at the start of the 2013 season and keep him out until April 28, has admitted using a controlled substance and apologised for his actions.

"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a statement.

"I apologize to my team-mates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr also accepted the sanction.

"The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball's drug program," he said.

"We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013."