Aug. 13—San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., one of baseball's brightest young stars, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and will serve an 80-game suspension without pay, MLB announced Friday night.
Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid, and will miss the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, plus the first 32 games of next season. Tatis had not played this season after suffering a broken wrist in an offseason motorcycle crash and was originally expected to make his season debut within the next week or two.
Now Tatis will finish 2022 without appearing in a single game.
In a statement released by the MLB Players Association, Tatis apologized for the positive test, which he said stemmed from his inadvertently taking a medication to treat ringworm that contained the banned substance.
"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," Tatis said. "I want to apologize to Peter, AJ, the entire Padres organization, my teammates, Major League Baseball, and fans everywhere for my mistake. I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love."
"I am completely devastated," he continued later. "There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be than on the field competing with my teammates. 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."
The suspension is a huge blow to a Padres team that has already gone all in chasing its first World Series championship in franchise history. The Padres traded nearly all of their top prospects at the trade deadline to acquire superstar outfielder Juan Soto, first baseman Josh Bell, closer Josh Hader and others, and the club had already invested $300 million each in Tatis and fellow franchise star Manny Machado.
Tatis, 23, is coming off a 2021 season in which he led the National League with 42 home runs and posted an OPS+ 65% better than league average. He finished third in the 2021 NL MVP voting and is in the second year of a 14-year, $340 million contract.
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