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Oakland's Bartolo Colon suspended 50 games for failing drug test

Colon tested positive for testosterone, becoming the second key player in a week to be suspended for that, following outfielder Melky Cabrera of the Giants.

August 22, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Bartolo Colon had a 10-9 record for the Oakland A's this season.
Bartolo Colon had a 10-9 record for the Oakland A's this season. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )

Bartolo Colon, who won the American League Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, was suspended 50 games on Wednesday after failing a drug test.

Colon, now with the Oakland Athletics, tested positive for testosterone, according to a statement from Major League Baseball. He becomes the second key player within a week to be suspended for that substance, following outfielder Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants.

"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Assn. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the Joint Drug Program.”

Colon, 39, led the Oakland starters in victories, innings pitched and earned-run average. The suspension makes him ineligible for the rest of the regular season, as well for the wild-card playoff game that would appear to be Oakland's only chance to make the postseason.

The A's trail the Baltimore Orioles by one-half game in the race for the second AL wild-card spot, with the A's leading the Detroit Tigers by one game and the Angels by 3 1/2 games.

“It's a shock,” Oakland reliever Grant Balfour told the Associated Press. “He's a guy that we're definitely relying on right now. I guess you could say it's bad timing any time, but especially now.”

Colon is 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts this season.

He will lose the remaining $469,945 of his $2-million base salary this year. He also has earned $600,000 in performance bonuses based on starts, which is not affected.

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