Pirates' Starling Marte suspended 80 games after positive steroid test

The All-Star outfielder is in his sixth season with the Pirates.

Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended 80 gamesby MLB for violating the league’s drug policy

The MLB announced Tuesday that Martetestedpositive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance.

"The Pittsburgh Pirates fully support MLB'sJoint Drug Agreement, including the very tough penalties for violations of its prohibitions," team president Frank Coonelly said in a release Tuesday. "We are disappointed that Starling has 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."

Even if the Pirates manage to overcome Marte's loss and make the playoffs, he would not be eligible to play in the postseason due to the suspension.

“I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job," Marte said in a statement."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, 28, who made his first All-Star team in 2016, is a career .288 hitter with five-tool qualities. He has recorded 30-plus stolen bases in his last four seasons in MLB.


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