Athletics pitcher Montas banned 80 games for doping

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the banned performance enhancing substance Ostarine, the office of Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Friday.

The length of the ban means that Montas is certain to miss all but half a dozen of the Athletics' remaining games this season.

"The A's were disappointed upon learning if this suspension," the club said in a statement.

"We fully support MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and we will welcome Frankie back after the discipline has been served."

Montas himself issued a statement through the MLB Players Association, apologizing for what he said was inadvertent use of Ostarine, an anabolic agent.

"I am deeply saddened to confirm that MLB recently notified me I have tested positive for Ostarine, a prohibited substance under MLB's Joint Drug Agreement," said Montas, a 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic who is enjoying a break out season.

In 15 starts Montas has a 9-2 record with an earned run average (ERA) of 2.70 and 97 strikeouts with just 21 walks in 90 innings pitched.

"While I never intended to take any prohibited substance, I unfortunately and unknowingly ingested a contaminated supplement that I had purchased over the counter at a nutrition store here in the United States. That said, I respect MLB rules and understand my responsibilities under the Joint Drug Agreement, and accept full responsibility.

"I sincerely apologize to the A's organization, the fans, my teammates, and my family for this mistake. My hope is to be able to return to the A's later this season and contribute as best I can."