NEW YORK: The Miami Marlins’ National League batting champion Dee Gordon said Friday (Saturday in Manila) he won’t appeal an 80-game ban handed down by Major League Baseball for a positive test for steroids.
“Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances,” the 28-year-old second baseman said in a statement.
“The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization and the fans. I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB and the 20-plus tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this. I made a mistake and I accept the consequences.”
Major League Baseball announced the ban shortly after Gordon and the Marlins defeated the Dodgers 5-3 in Los Angeles late Thursday night — shortly after 0100 local time in New York.
MLB said Gordon, who inked a five-year, $50 million contract extension in January, tested positive for exogenous testosterone and the anabolic agent clostebol.
ESPN reported that the positive test was during spring training.
Through Thursday’s game in Los Angeles, the Marlins’ speedy leadoff hitter was batting .266 with six stolen bases this season.
In 2015 he won the NL batting title with a .333 average, leading the major leagues in hits with 205 and in stolen bases with 58. He also earned his first Gold Glove defensive award.
Gordon is the first NL player to win a batting title and lead the league in stolen bases since Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers in 1949.
He was voted a starter to the 2015 All-Star Game but missed the mid-season exhibition with a thumb injury that sidelined him for 17 games.
“Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team, and we all love him and support him,” Marlins team president David Samson said Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. “That said, I do not like or condone what he did. He is an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come.
“It is a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates and to everyone in our organization who works hard every single day to put a product on the field and off the field that all Miamians can be proud of.”