Rangers manager Washington tested positive for cocaine in 2009

According to a report by SI.com, Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine during the 2009 season.

Washington, 57, has been subject to increased drug testing since his failed test, which was administered by Major League Baseball last July, and he has passed all of his subsequent tests. In deciding to support Washington and retain him as manager, the Rangers accepted his apology as heartfelt and also his explanation that this was a one-time transgression.

“I did make a mistake and I regret that I did it,” Washington told SI.com by phone from Surprise, Ariz., on Tuesday night. “I am really embarrassed and I am really sorry.”

Washington declined to discuss the specific circumstances surrounding his decision to use cocaine because he didn’t want his family to hear about it in the media. “Any attempt to try to explain it is going to sound like excuses,” he said. “There is no right way to explain something wrong, and I did wrong. Was it tension? Maybe. Anxiety?”

Cocaine generally clears the system in 3-5 days after limited use. (Heavy users could take 10-14 days.) After one-time use, a person usually tests positive for cocaine (or technically a metabolite of cocaine called benzoylecgonine) for only 2-3 days.

Washington called the commissioner’s office shortly after he was tested to notify them that he might fail. He did the same thing with the Rangers’ front office and while using cocaine certainly was a terrible decision, at least he did the responsible thing by giving his superiors a heads up.

Nobody would have faulted the Rangers had they fired Washington after the test results came back, but they deserve kudos for giving their manager their support and standing by him. We all make mistakes and if this turns out to be an isolated incident, then this shouldn’t be a dark cloud over his fine baseball career.

But if he’s caught again, then all bets are off and Texas would have recourse to fire him immediately.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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