<
>

Ward of U.S. banned for three months

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Brian Ward of the United States was banned for three months and issued a warning after testing positive for banned drugs during the recent World Cup and Americas Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Ward can resume playing in national and international baseball
competitions on March 4, the International Baseball Federation said
Wednesday.

Rafael A. Barrios of Colombia and Roger Deago of Panama were banned until Dec. 4, 2005. Deago is a minor league left-hander with the San Diego Padres. He was 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA in two games with the Padres last season.

A fourth player who tested positive, Samuel Meurant of France,
was given a warning and his provisional suspension was lifted.

The federation did not identify the drugs for which the players
tested positive.