On the verge of returning to motion after wrist surgery that had kept him out all season, Fernando Tatis Jr., the 23-year-old star shortstop and outfielder of the San Diego Padres, has been suspended for 80 games for a violation of Major League Baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program.
Within the announcement of the suspension on Friday, M.L.B. specified that Tatis had tested positive for Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance that could be a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid. Because the Padres have fewer than 80 games remaining this season, Tatis’s yr is over before it began.
In an announcement released by the players’ union, Tatis claimed he didn’t intentionally take the drug that he tested positive for.
“It seems that I inadvertently took a medicine to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol,” he said. “I must have used the resources available to me in an effort to make sure that no banned substances were in what I took. I didn’t achieve this.”
Tatis apologized to the team and said he had “no excuse for my error.” He also said he would begin serving his suspension immediately.
For San Diego, the suspension is a big blow to a team that made a splash on the trading deadline by acquiring several recent players, including Juan Soto, a 23-year-old superstar outfielder. While the team has itself in position for a wild-card spot even without Tatis, the return of their young star — whom the team signed to a 14-year $340 million contract last yr — had been expected so as to add yet one more jolt of their hopes of contending for the primary World Series title in franchise history.
With the 80-game suspension, Tatis immediately becomes amongst essentially the most distinguished players to face a penalty during M.L.B.’s testing era. Other stars to have faced suspensions include Manny Ramirez in 2009 (50 games) and 2011 (100 games), Miguel Tejada in 2013 (105 games) and Alex Rodriguez in 2014 (162 games).
More recently, Robinson Canó served an 80-game suspension for a violation of the policy in 2018 after which was banned for a full yr in 2020.
Tatis, whose father was also a serious leaguer, was an All-Star last season when he led the National League with 42 home runs. He injured his wrist in a motorbike accident within the off-season, and when it didn’t heal properly he had surgery during spring training. On the time, he was expected to be out for 3 months or more.
On a rehab task within the minors this week, Tatis had widely been expected to return to the Padres next week.