San Diego Padres superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced in a statement on Friday that Tatis has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for Clostebol, an illegal substance under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
“It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol,” Tatis said Friday in a statement shared on Twitter by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so.”
The suspension is effective immediately.
Although Tatis said he’s “completely devastated,” the 2021 All-Star said he has “no excuse” for his error and stated that he won’t appeal his suspension.
“There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be than on the field competing with my teammates,” he wrote. “After initially appealing the suspension, I have realized that my mistake was the cause of this result, and for that reason I have decided to start serving my suspension immediately. I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field in 2023.”
Tatis had surgery on his left wrist in March and has yet to play in 2022. Tatis was expected to return sometime this season, but the suspension will end his year. He will miss the remaining 48 regular-season games this season and the first 32 games next year.
In his statement, Tatis apologized to the Padres organization, his teammates, the league and baseball fans everywhere, adding, “I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love.”
The Padres organization said it’s “extremely disappointed” in Tatis’ positive drug test.
“We were surprised and extremely disappointed to learn today that Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and subsequently received an 80-game suspension without pay,” the Padres said in a statement. “We fully support the Program and are hopeful Fernando will learn from this experience.”
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According to MLB’s Drug Prevention And Treatment Program policy, a player who tests positive for a performance enhancing substance receives an 80-game suspension. A second violation earns a suspension equal to the total number of championship season games in the league. A third violation results in a permanent ban.
“I have taken countless drug tests throughout my professional career, including on March 29, 2022, all of which have returned negative results until this test,” Tatis said.
The penalty will cost Tatis about $2.9 million. Tatis will forfeit $1,510,989 of his $5 million salary this year, covering the final 55 days and 48 games of the season. He will lose approximately $1.39 million of his $7 million salary for the first 32 games of next season, with the exact number to be determined by how many days he misses.
Tatis signed a $340 million, 14-year contract before the 2021 season.
The 23-year-old shortstop has been on the injured list all season after he reportedly hurt his left wrist in an offseason motorcycle accident in his native Dominican Republic. Tatis recently had begun a rehabilitation assignment in Double-A and the playoff-contending Padres hoped he could return and boost their chances down the stretch.
The news of Tatis’ suspension comes as Juan Soto returns to Washington for the first time since being traded from the Nationals to the Padres earlier this month.
Clostebol is an anabolic steroid that can be used for ophthalmological and dermatological use. Freddy Galvis and Dee Gordon are among the major leaguers previously suspended for using Clostebol, which is also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Olympic gold medal winning cross-country skier Therese Johaug was suspended in 2016 after testing positive for it.
Contributing: The Associated Press