Steve Howe Barred From Playing in Japan, Will Return to U.S.

United Press International

Former Dodger relief pitcher Steve Howe, whose major league career was shortened by drug problems, has been barred from playing in Japan and will return to the United States in a few days, baseball officials said today.

The officials said Howe, who turned 29 Tuesday, expressed "understanding" at the decision by the Tokyo-based Seibu Lions to drop plans of signing him. The move came after Japanese professional baseball Commissioner Juhei Takeuchi had ruled Howe could not play in Japan because of his history of drug abuse, officials in the commissioner's office said.

"I am disappointed, but I will return to the United States and try to play in the major leagues again," Howe was quoted by officials as saying.

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