An interesting sports night surrounding Miami-area teams added another news item overnight, with Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon being suspended 80 games for violating MLB‘s performance-enhancing drug policy. According to MLB, Gordon tested positive for exogenous testosterone and clostebol.
As expected, via a statement Friday morning, Gordon said he did not knowingly take a banned substance and will not appeal the punishment.
“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.”
For what it’s worth, Marlins’ president David Samson does not appear to buy Gordon’s plea of ignorance.
“Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team, and we all love him and support him,” Marlins president David Samson said. “That said, I don’t like or condone what he did. He is an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come. It’s a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates and to everyone in our organization every single day.
“He will be back 80 games from now, and he will be welcomed back to this organization. But in the interim period, we expect him and we are positive that he will do everything that’s necessary to make it up to his fans, to his teammates and to this organization.”
Gordon led the National League with a .333 batting average in 2015, along with 58 stolen bases and 88 runs scored for the Marlins. He also signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with Miami back in mid-January, surely based in part off that production, and with this suspension Gordon will also be ineligible if the Marlins make the postseason.
I still don’t get the concept of a player not knowing he took a banned substance. There are resources available to verify over-the-counter products, including most closely a team’s medical and training staff, so ignorance is a flimsy excuse at best. With a career legacy and significant amounts of money at stake (Gordon will lose around $1.6 million in salary during his suspension), it makes no sense to not do the necessary due diligence to make sure any supplement is fine to take. Gordon is the latest to fall victim to pure laziness and ignorance, and he definitely won’t be the last.