San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and was banned from playing for 80 games, a penalty that will end his 2022 season, Major League Baseball announced Friday.
In a statement, the 23-year-old shortstop said he accidentally treated ringworm with a drug containing the banned substance Clostebol and that, after initially appealing the ruling, he decided to withdraw the appeal.
“I should have used the means at my disposal to make sure there were no banned substances in them. I didn’t,” Tatis said in his statement. “I have no excuse for my mistake, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game that I love.”
Tatis has yet to appear in a game this season due to a wrist injury sustained in an off-season motorcycle accident. He will not be eligible to play for the Padres if they make it through the postseason. San Diego is 16 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, but would take ownership of the newly created third NL wildcard spot if the season ended Friday.
“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 was subsequently given an 80-game suspension without payment,” the Padres said. in a statement. a statement. “We fully support the program and hope Fernando will learn from this experience.”
League policy dictates that clubs are not notified of a player’s positive test until the day that player is added to the restricted list, so the Padres were unaware that Tatis had tested positive when they signed a franchise. changing deal to take over Juan. Soto of the Washington Nationals on the trade deadline.
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At the time, that deal looked like a splurge for a team that was firmly at odds with its young superstar, Tatis, who were preparing to return from injury for the stretch run. In hindsight, Soto and Josh Bell will be replacing much-needed production as the Padres try to make the long October run that they and CEO AJ Preller have been seeking for most of the past decade.
Now Soto and Bell will anchor a Padres lineup that still includes Manny Machado, a formidable heart of the order who seemed poised to dominate, but wasn’t yet: San Diego is 3-5 since trading for Soto , including a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers last week.
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When Tatis was healthy in the big leagues, he was explosive. Last season, despite a shoulder injury along the way, he led the league with 42 homeruns at age 22. He was an MVP candidate in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
But after battling the shoulder problem in late 2021, Tatis returned from the lockout with a new problem, one that his team had been unable to resolve as the players negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement: he had broken his wrist in a motorcycle accident. His return had been slower than some had hoped, but it seemed likely that he would come soon. He will not return until 2023.
This is an evolving story has been updated.