Marlins’ Dee Gordon Dropped Appeal, Issues Statement On Suspension
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball delivered stunning news late Thursday evening with the announcement Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended 80 games after testing positive for two performance-enhancing drugs.

Gordon’s punishment was handed down less than 20 minutes after the Marlins completed their first ever four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The All-Star second baseman played a pivotal role in the series finale, tying the game with an RBI single in the seventh, and inducing a balk later that inning to score another run.

Gordon was batting .266/.289/.340 with three doubles, two triples and six stolen bases in 21 games. In 2015, he became the first player MLB history to win a Gold Glove, lead the Majors in stolen bases and win the batting title all in the same season.

The timing of Gordon’s suspension getting announced is connected to his decision to drop an appeal. The 28 year old tested positive during Spring Training, via ESPN:

A league source told ESPN’s Jayson Stark that Gordon tested positive during spring training.

In a statement released Friday morning, Gordon expressed disappointment over the matter, though denied he knowingly took banned substances:

“Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances. The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization and the fans,” Gordon said. “I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB and the 20+ tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this. I made a mistake and I accept the consequences.”

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who also managed Gordon when the two were with the Dodgers, said the speedy second baseman will have the support of his teammates and Marlins organization:

“These guys love Dee, and we’re going to support him,” Mattingly said. “I feel like Dee’s one of my kids, to be honest with you, because I’ve known him so long. So we’re going to love him, and then we’re going to support him. He’s been a big part of the success that we’ve had.”

Gordon signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with the Marlins in January. He’s the fifth player this year to test positive for PEDs. Former New York Mets reliever received a lifetime ban after testing positive a third time.

Per the current Joint Drug Agreement, a player who is suspended during the regular season is not eligible for postseason play that same year. However improbable it may seem at this time, should the Marlins reach the playoffs in 2016, Gordon will not be playing in October.