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Pitcher Bartolo Colon, who at the age of 39 has helped the Oakland Athletics challenge for a Major League Baseball playoff berth, received a 50-game suspension after failing a test for testosterone.
Colon, a two-time All-Star and 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, said he accepted responsibility for his actions in a statement released by the MLB Players Association. His suspension comes one week after San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, whose .346 batting average is second- best in baseball, was given a 50-game ban after testing positive for testosterone.
“I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A’s,” said Colon, who has a 10-9 record with a 3.43 earned-run average this season.
In his last five starts, he was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA. Oakland, in second place in the American League East, has gone 23-13 since the All-Star break and at 67-56 is challenging for a wild card playoff berth.
The Athletics have 39 regular-season games left after Colon’s suspension started with yesterday’s 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. He’d also have to miss 10 games if the A’s reach the postseason before being eligible to return.
Oakland got pitcher Brett Anderson back two days ago following his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his elbow. The left-hander allowed one run over seven innings in winning his season debut.
“It’s disappointing,” A’s General Manager Billy Beane said about Colon’s suspension. “We’re fortunate to have depth in starting pitcher and it’s time to rely on that depth.”
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