Royals minor-league infielder Raul Mondesi, the team’s top prospect, was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.
The suspension was for a performance-enhancing substance, Clenbuterol, and is effective immediately, the league said.
“It is by far one of the hardest moments I have had to face in my life, but it is a decision that I accept and one that I take full responsibility for as a professional,” Mondesi said in a statement.
“I took an over-the-counter medication (Subrox-C) which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms. I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance. I tested positive for that banned substance, with a minuscule amount of Clenbuterol in my system which could not have possibly enhanced my performance on the field, and now must face the consequences of that mistake.
“I apologize to my organization, my teammates, the fans and everyone who has supported me in my career. Never did I intend to take a substance that would give me an unfair advantage on the field. It is solely my mistake and there are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body.
“My goal is to work through this setback and make it back in time to help my organization compete for another World Series title.”
Mondesi, who turns 21 on July 27, was batting .250 at Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He had five home runs, five doubles and one triple.
“This is an unfortunate incident that we believe to be an innocent mistake, but these are the consequences that players face when they do not adhere to the policies that have been collectively bargained,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. “We have a protocol in place with our medical team should a player ever have questions about what they may be taking, even if an over-the-counter medication. In this particular case the protocol was not followed and the consequences are such. We remain supportive of Raul Mondesi Jr.”
Joel Sherman reported that Mondesi was suspended 80 games initially but that the league and the Players’ Association reached an agreement to drop that to 50 games.