Indians Clase handed 80 game doping ban

FILE PHOTO: Feb 19, 2020; Goodyear, Arizona, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Emmanuel Clase poses for a portrait during media day at the Indians training facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Cleveland Indians pitcher Emmanuel Clase has been banned for 80 games after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, Major League Baseball said on Friday.

With the MLB season on hold due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Clase’s suspension will not begin until the 2020 campaign officially gets underway.

If MLB is forced into a shortened season due to the pandemic, Cleveland may not see Clase on the mound until next year.

“We were disappointed to learn of today’s suspension of Emmanuel Clase for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program,” the Indians said in a brief statement.

“We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game.

“We have been in contact with Emmanuel, and we will welcome him back after the discipline has been served.”

Clase, a hard-throwing right hander with a 100mph fastball, came to Cleveland along with outfielder Delino DeShields in a December trade with Texas that sent two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Rangers.

The 22-year-old Dominican appeared in 21 games for the Rangers posting a 2-3 record and a 2.31 ERA.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Pritha Sarkar