Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is facing disciplinary action from MLB after relapsing with cocaine, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Hamilton is a recovering addict, having been suspended from the league from 2003 to 2005 because of substance abuse issues.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hamilton would be meeting with MLB officials to discuss a “disciplinary issue.” According to Heyman, Hamilton might not have failed a drug test, but he admitted to “going on a binge that involved cocaine” a few months ago.
It’s unknown what action the league will take upon hearing Hamilton’s confession. Even though he has a history of abusing alcohol and cocaine, Hamilton might not be treated as a repeat offender. His previous issues with drugs came in the minor leagues, after he was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999.
Hamilton is reportedly drug tested three times a week, and he’ll be put into a program and face increased testing, if he’s treated as a first-time offender. For a second offense, players are subject to a suspension between 15 and 25 games.
In July 2009, former Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine, while Hamilton was with the team. Washington didn’t fail any future tests, and resigned on Sept. 5, though it wasn’t related to drugs.
This isn’t the first time that Hamilton has relapsed since reaching the Majors, though the past instances have involved alcohol. In 2009, photos of Hamilton drinking surfaced, and there was a report that he suffered a relapse three years later.
Hamilton committed himself to sobriety in October 2005, and played his first MLB game with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. After averaging over 28 home runs per year in five seasons with the Texas Rangers, the outfielder signed a five-year contract worth $125 million with the Angels.
Recovering from a shoulder injury, Hamilton is expected to miss at least the first month of the 2015 MLB season. He has struggled in L.A., hitting .255 with 31 home runs and 123 RBI in 240 games.