Oakland Athletics right fielder Ramon Laureano has been suspended 80 games without pay after violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy by testing positive for nandrolone.
Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post relayed Major League Baseball's statement, and the A's released their own remarks (h/t Martin Gallegos of MLB.com): "The A's were disappointed to learn of this suspension. We fully support MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and we will welcome Ramón back after the discipline has been served."
Laureano was hitting .246 (.760 OPS) with 14 home runs and 39 RBI for the 61-48 A's, who are second in the American League West.
Laureano released a statement through the MLB Players Association (h/t Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area) and denied knowingly taking nandrolone, an anabolic steroid:
Per MLB's policy, a player's first violation results in an 80-game suspension. A second violation prompts a full-season suspension (162 games), and a third leads to a permanent suspension from the league.
A player can appeal only under three circumstances, per the policy: chain of custody, laboratory error and exceptional circumstances.
The A's hold the second American League wild-card spot by just one-and-a-half games over the surging New York Yankees. Oakland is four games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West.
The 27-year-old had moved from center field to right field to make way for Starling Marte, whom the A's acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 28.
Without him, Stephen Piscotty figures to play right field. The seven-year veteran is hitting .207 (.613 OPS) with five home runs and 14 RBI in 64 games.