Marte offers apology for PED suspension, Pirates sound angry at him in statement

News broke Tuesday afternoon that Pirates center fielder Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Needless to say, that's a pretty devastating blow to the Pirates' postseason chances, as Marte is talented enough to perform as their best position player throughout the season. 

In light of the suspension, Marte offered up an apology. Here's his statement: 

"I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job. In this very difficult moment I apologize to my family, my fans and baseball in general. Neglect and lack of knowledge have led me to this mistake with the high price to pay of being away from the field that I enjoy and love so much. With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much. I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me. God bless you." 

So Marte says he didn't intentionally violate the rules and that he just wasn't paying enough attention in addition to not knowing what he was taking was a banned substance. He admits to being embarrassed and that he disrespected the game. 

On the Pirates' end, here's the team's official statement: 

"The Pittsburgh Pirates fully support MLB's Joint Drug Agreement, including the very tough penalties for violations of its prohibitions. We are disappointed that Starling put himself, his teammates and the organization in this position. We will continue to fight for the division title with the men who are here and will look forward to getting Starling back after the All-Star break."

That sounds like a rather peeved organization. Rightfully so. Arguably their best player is gone for half the season. 

Marte, 28, hit .311/.362/.456 with 34 doubles, five triples, nine homers and 47 steals last season in just 129 games. He won two Gold Gloves in left field and has transitioned to center field. So far this season he was off to a slow start, hitting .241/.288/.370. That was likely to turn around, but now he'll have a long and unpaid vacation. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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