News broke out of Pittsburgh that as of around 2:00 PM EST, All-Star Outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games for testing positive with high levels of testosterone. The illegal substance in use ended up being nandrolone, a performance enhancing drug. Nandrolone is a synthetic anabolic-androgenic steroid illegal in the world of baseball.
The 2016 MLB All-Star made his Major League debut in July of 2012 and has since become one of the premiere players in the National League, shining alongside former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. He sports a lifetime .289 batting average with 160 stolen bases and 58 homeruns, making himself one of the game’s best leadoff hitters. He has a stellar glove, winning back-to-back NL Gold Glove awards in 2015 and 2016, and will miss the opportunity to continue that streak.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, his bat got off to a slow start as Marte hit to an abysmal .241 average to start the season before failing the aforementioned drug test. Since it is his first offense, he will serve an 80 game suspension. If he ever gets busted again it’s a full season, and if he juices after that? Lifetime ban from baseball. As for the Pirates, Andrew McCutchen will more than likely be dealt or moved back to his original position (centerfield) and the door has been opened for top prospects Austin Meadows and Adam Frazier. The fan favorite Marte is set to return near the tail end of the season; and if the Pirates find themselves in postseason play, Marte cannot participate.
The Athletes Hub will keep you up to date on the information regarding this story.
UPDATE: During Marte’s press interview, it has been claimed that he was unaware as to what nandrolone was and that he didn’t know it was an anabolic steroid. Personally, I feel it should be at the players discretion and not the doctor’s when being prescribed medicine. Nandrolone is an injection steroid extremely similar to the ones taken by Rafael Palmiero, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds. It’s also similar to the steroid that Jose Canseco claims he injected multiple former teammates with. It’s likely that Marte knew what he was doing, while he was doing it.
Cubs All-Star 1B Anthony Rizzo is now campaigning for more common drug testing in the wake of Marte’s shocking suspension.
Jameus Mooney, Editor at The Athletes Hub
Image Credit: RantSports