Oakland Athletics' starting pitcher Bartolo Colon has just been given a 50-game ban after testing positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Colon, a former Cy Young Award winner and two-time All-Star, tested positive for testosterone. The use of this substance violates Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
As terms of his suspension, Colon will miss the final 40 games of this season. If the A's advance to the playoffs, Colon will miss the first 10 games postseason. He'll also take a pay suspension, reported MLB.com.
If the A's don't make it to the post-season, the ban will continue into the next season he's scheduled to play; ESPN notes this is provided Colon signs another major league contract. Currently, the A's have a chance to nab one of the Wild Card spots, being only a half-game behind the Baltimore Orioles.
According to ESPN, Colon issued a statement which was released by the MLB's players' association.
"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program."
The Athletics organization also issued a public statement.
"The Oakland Athletics are disappointed to learn of today's suspension of pitcher Bartolo Colon," according to a team-issued statement. "The organization fully supports Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the Basic Agreement, the A's will have no further comment."
Reportedly, many of the team's players first heard about the suspension via MLB Network in the clubhouse.
"It's disappointing," said A's General Manager Billy Beane, reported the Oakland Tribune. "From a baseball standpoint, we're scrambling. Bartolo was scheduled to start tomorrow in Tampa, and the obvious thought was a guy like (Dan) Straily, who we just sent down. But because of his option and the 10 days, he had to stay down."
Tyson Ross is reportedly being called up from Triple A to take Colon's spot in the pitching rotation.
Colon's ban comes on the heels of San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera's ban for PEDs. Cabrera's suspension was announced last week after it was discovered he also tested positive for testosterone. According to MLB.com, Colon is the fifth major league player to test positive for illegal PEDs this year.