A glum Fernando Tatis Jr. in the dugout during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. The Padres gave up a 9-5 lead and lost the game 11-9. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

Major League Baseball suspended Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games Friday for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug agreement.

“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,” a statement from the Padres read.

The team added that “we fully support the program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience.”

Tatis, 23, tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Clostebol, coming just days after he played four games in Double-A ball on rehab assignment. Though he has missed all of the 2022 season thus far, he had been set to rejoin the Padres soon, as manager Bob Melvin had estimated a mid-August timeframe for Tatis to play.

Tatis, a 2021 All-Star, signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the Padres last year.

Tatis, in a statement issued by the MLB Players Association, said he was “completely devastated” by the suspension. He called his use of the drug a mistake – he explained that he inadvertently used a drug for ringworm that contained Clostebol. He also said he has passed all his other drug tests during his short career.

“I have no excuse for my error and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game that I love,” he said, while apologizing to team owner Peter Seidler, executive A.J. Preller, the Padres organization, his teammates and fans.

He missed the first half of this season with a fractured wrist stemming from a motorcycle accident in the offseason. The suspension will run through the rest of the 2022 season – there are more than 40 games remaining in the regular season, then the postseason – and into next year.

The infielder has established himself in just three years in the league as a charismatic talent, but he has missed numerous games due to injuries, including to his back and shoulder. He has hit .292 in his career, with 81 home runs and 195 RBIs.

– Staff and wire reports


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Ellen Bullock