San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis, Jr. received an 80-game suspension on Friday for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Agreement. Major League Baseball announced Tatis tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Clostebol.
The Padres released the following statement after the news of the suspension came down.
"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. We fully support the Program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience."
Tatis, 23, will need to be activated from the injured list to start serving his 80-game suspension and he'll also be ineligible to participate in the playoffs, should the Padres make it. The Padres have 48 games remaining this season, including Friday night, so this suspension will wipe out a decent chunk of the 2023 season, too.
Tatis has released the following statement:
I have been informed by Major League Baseball that a test sample I submitted returned a positive result for 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.
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 error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love.
I have taken countless drug tests throughout my professional career, including March 29, 2022, all of which have returned negative results until this test.
I am completely devastated. 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 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 re-joining my teammates on the field in 2023.
Tatis is on the second year of a 14-year, $340 million deal.
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In 130 games last season, Tatis hit .282/.364/.611 (165 OPS+) with 31 doubles, 42 home runs, 97 RBI, 99 runs, 25 steals and 6.6 WAR. He finished third in NL MVP voting after finishing fourth in 2020. When on the field, he's been one of the best players in baseball, but he's had serious injury issues, most notably his shoulder last season and then the wrist this season, which he fractured in a motorcycle accident. Now he'll be missing 80 games due to a PED violation.
The Padres enter Friday 63-51, which is good enough for a one-game lead over the Brewers for third and final NL wild-card spot. They recently made a splash in acquiring Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Brandon Drury in front of the trade deadline. They've now won two straight after a five-game losing streak.
As for how the Padres move forward without Tatis, well, they've played without him all season. There was excitement surrounding the team adding an MVP-caliber player to the roster without having to trade anyone away, sure, but the fact is they have already played a majority of the season without him, so they'll just continue on this path.