Washington Nationals Catcher Raudy Read was handed a suspension of 80 games by Major League Baseball after a positive drug test came back for Boldenone under the league’s drug-testing program.
The MLB commissioner’s office announced its suspension of Read Wednesday, after an arbitrator upheld it.
Read signed in 2011 with Washington and made his debut in the big leagues in September of 2017, batting .273 or 3-for-11 in the eight games he played. He said that last year he was given seven drug tests.
Read, through a prepared statement that the players’ association released, said he had never knowingly used any banned substance in his life.
The statement added that Read does not take supplements or anything on top of his regular diet that consists simply of beef, chicken, vegetables and rice. Therefore, when he heard of testing positive this winter, he was shocked and convinced a mistake had been made.
Boldenone is used in horses and is banned as a performance-enhancing drug under the drug program of MLB.
Read added that without knowing the identity of the source that caused a positive test, he could not prevail. He insisted that this should not reflect on who he is as a person or an athlete, and he plans on doing anything possible to clear his name.
Read, who is just 24, was a .265 hitter last season at Harrisburg a Double-A affiliate of the Nationals and set career highs for both home runs with 17 and RBIs with 61.
In a prepared statement, Mike Rizzo the general manager of the Washington Nationals said he was disappointed in Read. He added that he had yet to speak with the player directly and understands that he ultimately is the one responsible for what he puts inside his body.
Read becomes the third MLB player to be suspended in 2018 under the drug program for MLB. Prior to Read’s announced suspension, Dean Deetz a pitcher for the Houston Astros and Nik Turley a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates were suspended.
Ten players have already been suspended this year in the minors under the minor league drug program.
Read is expected to play another season in the minor leagues as the Nationals have Matt Wieters as their starting catcher and the backup job will be fought over during spring training between Pedro Severino and just acquired Miguel Montero.