Blue Jays' Colabello banned 80 games for doping

Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:18pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Major League Baseball said on Friday.

Colabello, who enjoyed a breakout 2015 season with the Blue Jays, said the phone call he got in mid-March informing him that a banned substance was found in his urine was the "scariest" of his life and that he cannot explain the positive test.

"I have spent every waking moment since that day trying to find an answer as to why or how," Colabello said in a statement released by the MLB Players Association.

"The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much! I care too deeply about it."

Colabello, who had a 0.69 batting average in 10 games this season, tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is in violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension will force him to miss nearly half of the 162-game regular season.

Colabello, 32, was a late bloomer who spent seven years in the independent Canadian-American League without any clear path to the big leagues before finally gaining their attention and earning a contract.

He made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2013 but blossomed last season with the Blue Jays when he belted 15 home runs with 54 runs batted in and a .321 batting average in part-time duty.   Continued...

Mar 15, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello (15) hits a RBI double during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports