The Oakland A’s will be without Ramon Laureano for the rest of the year.
The star outfielder was suspended by the league on Friday for a performance-enhancing drug violation, effective immediately. He tested positive for Nandrolone.
Under the PED rules, Laureano is banned for 80 games during the regular season and also ineligible for the 2021 postseason. Oakland has 53 games left this summer, so he’ll miss the first 27 games of the 2022 campaign.
The MLB Players Association released the following statement from Laureano:
“I would never knowingly ingest any banned substance and put the game that I’ve loved all my life at risk. When I found out that I tested positive for nandrolone, I was shocked. I take great care of my body and have an extremely regimented diet. Based on the minuscule amount that was briefly in my body, I’ve learned that it is likely that it was contamination of something I ingested.
I have been educated about PED’s through the RBI program and Baseball Factory while growing up. I know I don’t need any of that to perform on the baseball field. All my athletic success has come from my hard work, focus and dedication to the game.
I’d like to apologize for the distraction that this might cause my teammates, Billy Beane, David Forst, and the entire Oakland organization, community, and fan base.
I am devastated. Anyone who truly knows me as a person knows how much I love the game and that I would never intentionally do something like this.”
With Laureano out of the picture, the A’s still have two star outfielders in Mark Canha and Starling Marte, and several options for the third spot that include Stephen Piscotty, utilitymen Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp, minor leaguer Seth Brown, or perhaps the injured Chad Pinder at some point if/when he returns from his strained hamstring.
Dunno what to tell you, Athletics Nation. Keep the fAith, if you still can. Wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, though.