Sun, Jun 23, 2019 - Page 11 News List

A’s pitcher Montas suspended for 80 games over doping

AP, OAKLAND, California

A season full of All-Star potential for Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas was cut short on Friday, when the MLB suspended him 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Montas pitched well on Thursday night and is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 15 starts, a big reason the A’s are 40-36.

The 26-year-old righty could return for the final week of the season, but the penalty makes him ineligible for the All-Star Game and post-season play this year, and he is to lose about half of his US$560,000 salary.

“I think it was a shock to everybody,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said before a night game against Tampa Bay. “We met as a team and Frankie spoke and was very remorseful and is going to accept what he has to deal with and feels bad about it.”

The commissioner’s office said that Montas tested positive for Ostarine. He is the sixth player suspended this year under the major league drug program.

“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,” Montas said in a statement released by the players’ union.

Montas said that he accepted “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,” he said.

Montas on Thursday pitched eight innings of one-run ball. He got a no-decision in a game Oakland won 5-4 over Tampa Bay.

Montas allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked none. He struck out at least nine for the third straight start.

In a statement, the A’s said that they would “welcome Frankie back after the discipline has been served.”

“Unfortunately, it was a guy that everybody is pretty close to here and a guy that’s performed really well. It’s just something we’re going to have to deal with,” Melvin said.

The A’s recalled right-hander J.B. Wendelken from Triple-A Las Vegas. The 26-year-old was on Oakland’s opening-day roster and is 0-1 with a 5.57 ERA in 18 games during his first season in the majors.

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