Marlins prospect Fermin suspended

Right-hander, 19, has yet to appear in a Minor League game

By Danny Wild / | January 31, 2014 7:20 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Marlins right-hander Ronny Fermin was suspended for 50 games on Friday after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

Fermin, who has yet to appear in a Minor League game, tested positive for metabolites of stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of the 19-year-old is effective at the start of the Gulf Coast Leauge season, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced.

Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone, is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians to encourage muscle growth, red blood cell production, bone density and to stimulate the appetite of weakened animals. A dozen Minor Leaguers were flagged for using the banned substance in 2013, while Fermin becomes the second player to test positive for it in 2014 -- free agent pitcher Yonquelys Martinez also was suspended for using the steroid on Jan. 9.

Major League Baseball has suspended 11 players this year for violations of the Minor League drug program.

Danny Wild is an editor for Follow his MLBlog, 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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