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Blue Jays’ Orelvis Martínez suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy

Blue Jays' Orelvis Martínez suspended 80 games for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drug policy

Infielder Orelvis Martínez, the Toronto Blue Jays' top position player prospect, has been suspended for 80 games without pay after violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy. The suspension was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Martínez, 22, had just been called up from Triple-A Buffalo for his major league debut Friday. Playing second base, he went 1-for-3 in Toronto's 7–1 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

Martínez tested positive for Clomiphene, a fertility drug on MLB's banned substance list, according to Passan. In a statement issued by the MLB Players Association, Martínez said he's been trying to start a family with his girlfriend and was prescribed a medication that contained Clomiphene at a fertility clinic in the Dominican Republic.

"We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs," said Martínez in the statement. "Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA."

"We were both surprised and disappointed to learn of Orelvis Martínez’s suspension," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. "We will do everything in our power to ensure Orelvis has learned from this mistake. Orelvis has our support, and we know he will get through this."

With Toronto already having played 76 games, Martínez will be eligible to return from his suspension during the final week of the season. At 35–41, the Blue Jays are currently last in the AL East, 15 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees.

In 63 games with Buffalo, Martínez hit .260 with an .867 OPS, 14 doubles, 16 home runs and 46 RBI. He signed with Toronto as an international free agent in 2018. MLB.com ranked Martínez as the top hitting prospect in the Blue Jays' organization. During his five seasons, he's compiled a .242 average and .833 OPS with 109 homers and 335 RBI.

"I took full responsibility for my negligence and accepted my suspension," Martínez added. "I want to apologize to my teammates in both Buffalo and Toronto, the Blue Jays organization, and most importantly, the fans who have supported me during my career."

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