(MLB) Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was expected to be the Opening Day starter in right field, has instead been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.
The suspension will commence at the start of the 2018 regular season, but he will still be allowed to remain in camp and practive with the team during Spring Training.
"This is obviously a very disappointing situation for the Royals, our fans and Jorge," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. "He is an incredible person who just made a mistake. Jorge will have our full support as he deals with the consequences of this violation."
Boldenone is an anabolic androgenic steroid developed for veterinary use.
"Of course, it was a shock," Royals manager Ned Yost said after the Royals' 10-3 loss to Arizona. "Jorge Bonifacio is one of the finest young guys we've got on this team. I don't know the details. I still don't. But it was very shocking when Dayton told me this was happening.
"It really made me kind of sick to my stomach a little bit, because he is such a neat kid and a big part of our team," Yost added. "But we'll get through it. It's 80 games and we'll continue to support him and make sure this never happens again. Like I said, I'm not sure exactly the circumstances, but I'm sure that'll all come to light here soon."
Bonifacio, 24, hit .255 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs in his rookie season in 2017.