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Fernando Tatis Jr joins a long list of players caught using performance-enhancing substances

For all of the hand-wringing, Fernando Tatis Jr is just the latest to join a long line of superstar MLB players to receive suspensions for PEDs

For all of the hand-wringing, Fernando Tatis Jr is just the latest to join a long line of superstar MLB players to receive suspensions for PEDs
Christian PetersenGetty Images

On Friday, MLB announced that Fernando Tatis Jr would not be returning to the Padres as soon as they thought he might, when he received an 80-game suspension for use of the banned steroid clostebol. The Dominican shortstop gave some story about inadvertently using a ringworm medication that contained the substance, despite the fact that no ringworm medication sold in North America contains any such ingredient.

It is possible, but only just barely conceivable, that some medicine available in the DR contains clostebol, but it is hard to swallow that excuse.

In getting slapped with this 80-game ban, Tatis Jr joins a list of superstars a mile long who have received suspensions for using performance enhancing drugs. Alex Rodriguez, himself banned for the entire 2014 season for taking testosterone, has said that he is “heartbroken” over the news that Tatis Jr has followed in his footsteps.

“I was hoping a lot of these young kids learn from my debacle and my mistakes,” said A-Rod. “I have gone to the lowest ground, I have gone to ground zero.” Saying that he will not reach out to the Padres’ All-Star, Rodriguez stressed that he is “always available to help.”

Just in the past few years, Francis Martes, Michael Pineda, Steven Wright, and Robinson Cano have all received suspensions for PED use, with Cano getting banned twice, once in 2018 and then again in 2020.

All-Stars like Starling Marte, Marlon Byrd, Dee Gordon, Ervin Santana and Jenrry Mejia all received bans, with Mejia getting two bans in two consecutive seasons.

Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriguez were among the first generation of players who were made examples of after the drug-addled 90s saw the game contorted out of recognition. Other players in that same time-frame who got suspended for PED use were Ervath Cabrera Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Ruiz, and 2013 MVP Ryan Braun. Bartolo Colón, Melky Cabrera, and Manny Ramirez all got bans, with Ramirez being yet another repeat offender.

It is noteworthy that since 2014, the issue of repeat offenses has been addressed by the adoption of the three strikes system, with a mandatory 80 games for a first offense, 162 games for a second offense, and a third offense bringing an automatic lifetime ban. Lifetime bans can be rescinded at the commissioner’s discretion, although not before two complete years have passed since the suspension.

Let’s hope that Fernando Tatis Jr has learned his lesson, and in future sticks to the readily available medicine that contains no steroids.


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