(USA Today Photo)

Bucs Marte Suspended 80 Games For Positive PED Test

Starling Marte has received an 80-game ban without pay from Major League Baseball, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

The Pirates outfielder tested positive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance, according to the statement.

The suspension is effective immediately.

“The Pittsburgh Pirates fully support MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement, including the very tough penalties for violations of its prohibitions,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. “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.”

Marte released his own statement Tuesday to apologize: “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, the Pittsburgh Pirates, my teammates, 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.”

Marte, who took over for Andrew McCutchen in center field this season, is hitting .241 with two home runs and seven RBI through 13 games this year for the Pirates.

The 28-year-old Dominican made his first All-Star Game last season, in which he batted .311 with nine homers and 46 RBI.

In 612 major-league games, Marte has recorded a .288 batting average with 60 homers and 242 RBI.


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