Frankie Montas of the Oakland Athletics was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance to improve Ostarine performance, MLB said on Friday.
Montas, 26, was in the middle of a breakout season in which he was 9-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 97 strikeouts against 21 walks in 90 innings. He will not be eligible to return to the A's until the end of September and will not be eligible to play in the postseason.
After Montas tested positive, he argued that he took a contaminated substance that was not intended to improve his performance in baseball. Although the argument was credible, sources said, Montas chose not to appeal the suspension and eventually accepted the standard penalty for the first time for a prohibited substance.
Montas said in a statement released by the MLB Players Association that he was "deeply saddened" by the positive test.
"Although I never intended to take any banned substance, unfortunately I inadvertently ingested a contaminated supplement that I had bought over the counter at a nutrition store here in the United States," Montas said in the statement. "That said, I respect MLB rules and understand my responsibilities under the Joint Drug Agreement, and I accept all responsibility. I sincerely apologize to the A organization, the fans, my team mates and my family for this mistake. hope is power to return to A later this season and contribute in the best possible way. "
Right-handed Montas was the best pitcher in Oakland and was a legitimate All-Star contender before the suspension. At 40-36, the A's are a game behind Boston for second place in the American League.
"The A were disappointed to learn of this suspension," the team said in a statement. "We fully support MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and welcome Frankie after the discipline has been honored."
Oakland has an early throw surplus to join the squad going to the second half. Main perspective Jesus Luzardo is expected to make his next appearance in Triple-A after losing the first two months of the season with a shoulder injury.
A.J. Puk, also a dynamic southpaw, is in High-A building his pitching count after Tommy John's surgery last spring. Sean Manaea, the ace of the Oakland team last season, is approaching a rehab mission after a shoulder surgery in September.