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Aug. 13, 2022, 9:20 a.m. EDT

Padres shortstop Tatis’s 80-game suspension after positive test for steroid Clostebol will cost $2.9 million in lost wages

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — San Diego Padres dynamo Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the brightest, freshest stars in all of baseball, was suspended 80 games on Friday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance and won’t play this season.

Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, an anabolic steroid, said Major League Baseball.

Tatis said he accidentally took a medication to treat ringworm that contained the banned substance.

The penalty imposed by MLB was effective immediately, meaning the All-Star shortstop — who had been out the entire season because of a broken wrist but was expected to return to the playoff contenders next week — cannot play in the majors until next year.

Tatis will miss the remaining 48 regular-season games this year. Any postseason games the Padres play would count toward the 80 that Tatis must sit out, and he’ll serve the rest of the suspension at the start of next season.

“Shocked everybody,” Padres star Manny Machado said after a 10-5 win over Washington.

The 23-year-old Tatis, who signed a $340 million, 14-year contract before the 2021 season, became one of the most prominent players ever penalized for performance-enhancing drugs, along with Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. The penalty will cost Tatis about $2.9 million.

See: On Bobby Bonilla Day, here are other retired baseball players who receive huge deferred payments annually

MLB said the suspension also will prevent Tatis from playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic next March.

“Obviously, everybody’s very disappointed. Somebody that from the organization’s standpoint we invested time and money into,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said at Nationals Park, where San Diego played Washington.

Flashy at the plate and in the field, Tatis was an All-Star last season when he led the National League with 42 home runs. He was set to soon rejoin the Padres to boost a lineup that added star outfielder Juan Soto this month right before the trade deadline.

In a statement released by the players union, Tatis said he was “completely devastated” and apologized to Padres management, his teammates, MLB and “and fans everywhere for my mistake.”

“It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol,” he said. “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.”

“I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love,” he said.

Tatis added that “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.”

Freddy Galvis and Dee Strange-Gordon are among the major leaguers previously suspended for using Clostebol, which can be used for ophthalmological and dermatological use. It is also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and Olympic gold medal winning cross-country skier Therese Johaug was suspended in 2016 after testing positive for it.

Tatis was seventh player suspended this year under the MLB drug program. Thirty-three have been suspended under the minor league drug program.

Players who test positive for PEDs are ineligible for the postseason that year.

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