Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games, effective immediately, after violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
The reigning National League batting champion, who initially fought the suspension, dropped his appeal moments after the Marlins completed a four-game sweep over his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gordon, 28, is in his sixth season in the majors, and second with Miami. In Gordon’s breakout 2015 season, he led the NL in hitting with a .333 average, in addition to stealing 58 bases, and 88 runs scored.
A 2x All-Star not known for power, the suspension comes as a shock to many across the sport. Gordon tested positive for the performance-enhancing substances exogenous testosterone and clostebol, MLB said. A league source told ESPN’s Jayson Stark that Gordon tested positive during spring training.
Like many players before him whom have tested positive, Gordon said Friday he did not knowingly take PEDs but was accepting of the suspension.
“Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances. The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization and the fans,” Gordon said. “I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB and the 20+ tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this. I made a mistake and I accept the consequences.”
The mood in the clubhouse was understandably solemn, even following the successful series. Manager Don Mattingly, who coached Gordon in Los Angeles and now in Miami, stood behind the player he has seen grow into an All-Star.
“These guys love Dee, and we’re going to support him,” Mattingly said. “I feel like Dee’s one of my kids, to be honest with you, because I’ve known him so long. So we’re going to love him, and then we’re going to support him. He’s been a big part of the success that we’ve had.”
While Gordon is set to return later in the season, if the Marlins make their way to the postseason, Gordon will be ineligible. At the time of his suspension, Gordon was batting .266 with 6 stolen bases through the first month of 2016.