San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal has been suspended 50 games as a result of testing positive for testosterone.
The office of baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced the drug penalty on Wednesday. Grandal’s 50-game ban will take effect at the start of next season.
After having been drafted by the Cincinnati Reds 12th overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft and then traded to the Padres in 2011, Grandal made his big league debut this past season. He hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 60 games. He turns 24 on Thursday.
“I apologize to the fans, my teammates and to the San Diego Padres,'' he said in a statement. ''I was disappointed to learn of my positive test and under the joint drug program. I am responsible for what I put into my body. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension.''
According to recent reports by the Associated Press, there have been seven suspensions this year in Major League Baseball, six of which were for performance-enhancing drugs. Offenders include Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon.
The seven suspensions are the most in a year under the big league drug program since there were eight in 2007.
There have been 101 suspensions this year under the minor league drug problem.