• Olivera handed 82-game ban

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    NEW YORK: Atlanta Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was suspended for 82 games on Thursday (Friday in Manila) by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy in an incident last month.

    The 31-year-old Cuban, who helped his Communist homeland to Olympic gold in 2008 at Beijing, defected in 2014 and last year signed a six-year deal worth $62.5 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who traded him to the Braves last July.

    Olivera, who will not appeal the suspension, was the third player punished under the major league’s domestic abuse policy and received by far the longest ban after being arrested in an incident involving a woman in Arlington, Virginia, near where the team was playing the Washington Nationals.

    Olivera’s suspension without pay extends through August 1. He has been on paid administrative leave since being charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for his alleged actions at a hotel.

    Prior domestic violence bans by Major League Baseball were issued for 30 games to New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman and 51 games to Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes to start the 2016 season.

    “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Olivera violated the policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on August 1,”  major league commissioner Rob Manfred said.

    “Mr. Olivera has also agreed to make a significant charitable contribution to one or more organizations focused on preventing and treating survivors of domestic violence.”

    Olivera was expected to be the Braves’ regular leftfielder but played in only five games before the incident.

    “The Braves fully support Major League Baseball’s decision regarding Hector Olivera,” the team said in a statement.

    AFP

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