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Fernando Tatis Jr.

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. suspended 80 games

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. tests positive for performance-enhancing drug

San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis, once considered the next face of baseball, suffered another blow to his reputation Friday.  Major League Baseball suspended “El Niño” 80 games without pay after testing positive for Clostebol.

Clostebol, a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid, is a performance-enhancing substance banned under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

“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 that Fernando will learn from this experience.”

Disappointing year for Tatis

“El Niño” has been out all season recovering from a wrist fracture. He suffered that injury riding a motorcycle in his native Dominican Republic in the offseason.

The Padres could have tried to void the 13-year, $340 million deal he signed last season. It’s a testament to his promise that the Padres didn’t void his deal. Nonetheless, now he won’t return until next season, barring another positive test or injury.

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The son of former big leaguer Fernando Tatis Sr. apologized to his fans and the Padres’ organization via a statement released by the MLB Players’ Association.

“I have been informed by Major League Baseball that a test sample I submitted returned a positive result for Clostebol, a banned substance,” Tatis said. “It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol. 

“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, 23, has been considered one of baseball’s brightest stars since his rookie season in 2019. He finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year race after hitting 22 home runs with 53 RBIs over 84 games in 2019.

Fernando Tatis Jr., one of baseball’s brightest

Then he finished fourth in the NL MVP race and earned his first Silver Slugger Award in 2020. He hit 17 home runs with 45 RBIs during that COVID-shortened season.

Fernando Tatis Jr. earned his first All-Star berth last season after leading the NL with 42 home runs. He finished third in the NL MVP race while earning his second Silver Slugger. The wrist injury in the offseason, however, kept him out of action this season.

Unfortunately for him, the positive test for a banned substance will now prompt some to question the legitimacy of his stats.

“I am completely devastated,” he said. “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.  I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field in 2023.”

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