The New York Times reported that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug during spring training.
The commissioner’s office announced Ramirez’s decision in a statement, but did not say whether he tested positive for a banned substance. Ramirez previously served a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy while he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the statement said.
“Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”
MLB said it would have no further comment. A second positive test under the program results in a 100-game suspension, and a third test results in a lifetime ban.
“The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner’s Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program,” the Rays said in a statement. “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.”