San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Tatis’ suspension, announced Friday by MLB, is effective immediately, meaning the All-Star shortstop will not be able to play in the majors this year. In a statement, Tatis said he will not appeal the ban, as it was his “mistake” that caused the positive test.
“It turned out that I accidentally took a drug to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol,” Tatis said. “I should have used the means at my disposal to make sure there were no banned substances in it. I didn’t.
“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 mistake and I would never do anything to cheat this game or not I have undergone numerous drug tests throughout my professional career, including on March 29, 2022, all of which had negative results until this test.
“I’m absolutely devastated. I would rather be anywhere in the world than competing on the pitch with my team-mates. After initially appealing the suspension, I realized that my mistake was the cause of this result, and for that reason I have decided to sit out my suspension immediately. I look forward to seeing my teammates back on the field in 2023.”
Tatis, 23, is one of the biggest stars in MLB, the center of multiple marketing campaigns and on the second season of a $340 million 14-year contract.
Tatis is currently on a minor league rehab assignment after missing the first four months of the season with a broken left wrist and will now be on the restricted list for the final 48 games of the Padres regular season. Any post-season games the Padres play this season will not count towards Tatis’s total of 80 games. The remaining 32 games of the suspension will be played at the start of the 2023 season.
After emerging as a star in his rookie season at age 20, Tatis, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound shortstop whose strength, speed and penchant for the spectacular earned him legions of fans, finished fourth in the National League MVP vote in his sophomore campaign. Last year he was even better, signing the record deal, finishing third in the MVP voting and making himself one of the best players in the game.
The Padres collapsed but had high hopes for 2022 after hiring Bob Melvin as their new manager. During the lockout that delayed spring training, Tatis broke his wrist in a motorcycle accident that required surgery. San Diego vowed to rehabilitate slowly and it was teeming with anticipation of a lineup with Tatis in the lead, new signing Juan Soto hitting second and third baseman Manny Machado in third.
Tatis’ contract remains fully guaranteed for the next twelve seasons, during which he owes $324 million. Tatis has a full no-trade clause until 2028. In 273 games in his career, Tatis hits .292/.369/.569 with 81 home runs, 192 RBI’s and 52 stolen bases.