Major League Baseball recently suspended the San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. for 80 games. The reason for the suspension was that Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance called Clostebol.
When the news broke, Tatís Jr. appealed the suspension in hopes of possibly lowering the number of games suspended or reversing the suspension ruling. However, shortly after the appeal, he issued a statement through Major League Baseball (MLB) Players Association Communications to social media stating, “After initially appealing the suspension, I have realized that my mistake was the cause of this result, and for that reason, I have decided to start serving my suspension immediately.”
In that same statement, Tatís Jr. admits that he did take the performance-enhancing drug, but he took it through medication to treat ringworm. A few days after the suspension announcement on social media, Tatís Jr.’s dad, Fernando Tatís Sr., stated that his son received ringworm from a haircut.
It is expected that when an athlete is caught taking performance-enhancing drugs, they usually lie to the public. It wasn’t surprising that no one, including his teammates, was thrilled to hear the news when it broke. Teammates Manny Machado and Mike Clevinger stated to the media that they were disappointed in him and have made it this far in the season without him
With Tatís Jr. receiving a lot of heat from fans and teammates, his mother felt the need to defend her son. She tried to convince people that the ringworm story was true by posting a picture of Tatis Jr.’s neck on Instagram.
The effort of Tatís Jr.’s parents trying to clear their son’s name was a reasonable effort but unimpressive to baseball media and fans. With Tatís Jr.’s history of lying to the media, no one believed him for many reasons.
When a player has any health issues, it is always recommended to go through the team doctor or another doctor off-site that has been approved by the organization. This is because the doctors know what to prescribe the athlete without giving them banned substances, and Tatís Jr. failed to follow protocol.
Earlier in the season, Tatís Jr. reported to Spring Training where the Padres announced that the star shortstop had suffered a broken wrist due to a motorcycle accident in December. When the accident occurred, MLB was in a lockout with the Major League Baseball players’ union. At that time, Tatís Jr. could not contact anybody associated with the Padres organization.
Unfortunately, Tatís Jr. made himself look worse later on. When Tatís Jr. was questioned about his motorcycle accident by the media, he asked, “Which one?” Again, only one accident was reported.
Fast forward back to the suspension. The ringworm story, as one could guess, was false. Héctor Gómez, a verified MLB insider, tweeted that Tatís Jr. began using skin cream back in March to try to hide the motorcycle accident.
Tatís Jr. was very close to returning from injury before the suspension. However, the return will be delayed with him missing the remaining 48 games of this season and the first 32 games of next season. To add insult to injury, Tatís Jr. can also not participate in the World Baseball Classic next year.
A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the August 25, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.