Bizarre excuse emerges after baseball star hit with 80-game drug ban
The father of a banned baseball player has claimed that a bad haircut triggered the series of events that led to his son being sidelined for 80 games.
Fernando Tatis Jr. was hit with the hefty suspension before the weekend after testing positive for the banned substance clostebol, which means that he will miss the rest of the season for his team the San Diego Padres and their possible playoff run.
Defending his son, who has claimed that he only ended up violating Major League Baseball's (MLB) drug policy due to the steroid being included in a ringworm medication, Fernando Tatis Sr. explained how a trip to the barbers triggered a "catastrophe."
"All of this has happened because of something that is not worth this issue," Tatis Sr. said to MLB insider Hector Gomez.
"He got a fungus due to a haircut. His mistake was not reading what it [a spray called trofobol] contains, which is what apparently makes him guilty of something totally unknown."
"This is something for the skin, something that’s not performance enhancing and has no testosterone. It has nothing to help you improve in the game," Tatis Sr., who spent 11 seasons in the major league himself, protested.
"It was a mistake that could have been handled differently," Tatis Sr. accepted.
"[But to] destroy the image of a player for such a small thing, for a situation like this is a catastrophe. Not just for Tatis Jr., but for all baseball," Tatis Sr. stated, while predicting that there are "millions of fans that will stop watching baseball" due to the row.
To the Midday Show, Tatis Sr. again acknowledged that his son had slipped up by not realizing that the medication contained a steroid, but added that the scandal "could've been managed" better by the MLB.
"I don't think there was reason to destroy the image of a player over something as minor as that," Tatis Sr. said.
Tatis Sr. reiterated that the row is a "catastrophe" that could switch millions of fans off baseball, and also said that it was "a total disappointment for Dominican fans" and for enthusiasts throughout the world, "for something so insignificant that wasn't worth it".
"It's topical," Tatis Sr. went on. "What came out positive in Jr.'s body is something that doesn't give you strength, first of all, doesn't amplify your [weight-training] regimen, that's second, doesn't have any testosterone, that's third, doesn't contain absolutely anything that would give you an edge in the game.
"What has occurred is a catastrophe for baseball," he further underlined.
Tatis Sr. also informed the show that he and his son will travel to several leagues around their homeland to explain their version of what has occurred to budding ballplayers in arguably the sports's biggest hotbed of talents.
"There's something that nobody will ever be able to take away: the grace with which Fernando plays the game," Tatis Sr. stressed. "There's no human being who will ever be able to take that away."
Tatis Jr. has taken responsibility for his error for which he said there is "no excuse".
"I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took," he confessed. "I failed to do so."
Aged just 23 and signing a 14-year, $340 million extension in February last year, though, he still has plenty of road ahead to rebuild his reputation and put things right.