Fernando Tatis Jr. was recently suspended for 80 games after violating the MLB’s illegal substance policy. This comes while Tatis is recovering from a fractured wrist that resulted from a motorcycle accident in the offseason. The news of the suspension was released shortly after the San Diego Padres acquired superstars Juan Soto and Josh Bell, seemingly to improve their playoff chances. Tatis’ recent actions have called for the Padres’ front office to lose a sense of trust in the young slugger.
An Overview of Clostebol
Clostebol is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency due to it’s status as a anabolic-androgenic steroid. It is a chlorinated, synthetic derivative of testosterone. Although not as common as standard testosterone esters, clostebol acetate is used medically throughout Germany and Itally.
Clostebol increases total and free levels of testosterone in the body, thus making it a performance enhancing drug. The increase in testosterone levels can potentially speed up recovery time after an injury by promoting muscle synthesis.
From a biochemical perspective, it makes sense for a professional athlete to opt for clostebol. The chlorination of the molecule prevents the forming of dihydrotestosterone which can bring about unwanted side effects like hair loss. Clostebol, in general, is weaker than a lot of performance enhancing substances due to its transdermal application. The compound is most frequently used in a steroidal cream called Trofodermin®.
There are several instances in which clostebol was used for performance enhancing purposes. The compound was initially used by the Germans during their state-sponsored doping program but has seen use by elite athletes in every sport. Freddy Galvis and Dee Gordon are among two other MLB players that have tested positive for the substance within the past decade.
Interestingly enough, there’s literature that suggests clostebol has incidentally resulted in athletic violations. This makes for a twist considering Tatis claimed his positive result was due to a ringworm medication. Considering there’s a history of professional athletes testing positive for clostebol, which is only marketed in a few countries, there’s reason to have doubt in Tatis’ story. Nonetheless, he is taking accountability for his actions and has expressed a lot of remorse.
Tatis is suspended for 80 games, so he’s out for the remainder of the season including the playoffs. He’ll miss a chunk of games at the beginning of the 2023 season as well. The suspension is unfortunate, but it gives the shortstop plenty of time to recover from his wrist injury and get his mind right for next year. Tatis’s absence will be a huge hit to the Padres’ who are positioning themselves for a playoff run.
In terms of the outlook for the Padres as a whole, there’s not exactly an easy road to success. Yes, they recently acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell, but losing Tatis indefinitely this late in the season takes a key piece out of their lineup. Luckily they still have a lot of talent when you tie in guys like Manny Machado and Jake Croenenworth, but they’ll have quite the void to fill.
The plethora of starpower might make you think that losing Tatis is no big deal, but looking at the current playoff picture says otherwise. Arguably, the Padres need as much power as they can get, because quite frankly the national league is stacked. The Dodgers, the Mets, and the Braves all have the potential to take the Padres down if they can’t get things working on offense.
We know what Tatis is capable of as a player, and he’s not going anywhere regardless of his suspension. He won’t be able to benefit the Padres for the foreseeable future, so we can only hope he works on further improving his game with all the time off he’ll have. As for the Padres, we’ll have to see how things pan out with the playoffs rapidly approaching.
The MLB's Policy
For those curious, we’ll give a brief overview of the MLB’s policy on banned substances. It’s similar to that of many other professional sports organizations.
The MLB tests for steroids, drugs of abuse, and stimulants as outlined in their joint baseball drug policy. Regarding steroids, the MLB tests once at spring training and once randomly at any point throughout the season. Drugs of abuse are tested for only if there’s reasonable cause.
Stimulants will produce a positive test result if certain reference ranges are exceeded. Tests are normally performed via urinalysis, but there are specific applications for certain PEDs and human growth hormone. Substances can be added or removed from the banned list if the HPAC panel unanimously votes to do so.
Fernando Tatis Jr was suspended by the MLB for violating their PED policy. Throughout this article, we’ve given a brief overview of clostebol, the substance that Tatis tested positive for. He initially claimed the positive test result was from applying a ringworm application, but this isn’t the first time a pro athlete’s gotten busted for this steroid.
The recently announced suspension comes shortly after Tatis injured himself in a pre-season motorcycle crash, thus causing the Padres organization to start speculating about his character. He’s arguably one of the most electric players in the MLB, and a player the Padres don’t want to lose on bad terms. Hopefully, the suspension will act as a learning experience for the former NL rookie of the year.
Thank you for reading! Stay up to date by checking out the rest of our sports articles, and keep an eye out for updates regarding this situation.