A's Gauna, Braves' Tate suspended 50 games

Right-handed relievers banned after positive tests for drugs of abuse

Right-handed reliever Richie Tate went 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 45 games last season for Class A Rome. (Rome Braves)

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | February 20, 2015 6:00 PM

NEW YORK -- Braves reliever Richie Tate and fellow right-hander Koby Gauna of the A's were suspended 50 games apiece on Friday after testing positive for banned drugs.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said both Tate and Gauna received 50-game suspensions without pay following second positive tests for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Tate will begin serving his suspension on Opening Day, while Gauna's ban starts in June when short-season leagues begin play.

Tate, 22, has appeared in 83 games since the Braves selected him in the 14th round of the 2010 Draft. He debuted in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2010, missed the entire 2011 season and reached Class A Rome in 2013. The 6-foot-6 reliever returned to the South Atlantic League last year, where he went 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 66 innings over 45 outings, striking out 52 batters and walking 36.

Guana, 21, was a 20th-round pick out of Cal State-Fullerton last year. The California native went 0-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 18 games, including two starts, for Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie-level Arizona League A's. He recorded 19 strikeouts against four walks over 24 2/3 innings.

Players typically are issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse and a suspension for a second offense. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates. Minor Leaguers who test positive for a performance-enhancing substance are subject to immediate suspension.

Major League Baseball has suspended 38 players for violating the Minor League drug program in 2015.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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