NEW YORK -- Catcher Raudy Read, the Nationals' 14th-ranked prospect, was suspended 80 games on Wednesday after testing positive for Boldenone, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced. Boldenone is classified as a performance-enhancing substance under the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Read, 24, posted career highs with 17 homers and 61 RBIs while posting a .265/.312/.455 slash line in 108 games with Double-A Harrisburg last season. He earned a September callup to the Majors, where he went 3-for-11 in eight games.
2018 Minor League suspensions
"I have been extremely careful and conscious about what I put into my body," Read said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I don't take supplements or anything else on top of my regular diet, which consists simply of chicken, beef, rice and vegetables. So when I heard I tested positive during a routine drug test this winter, I was shocked.
"I was convinced there had to be a mistake, and I thought I'd be OK. I hadn't used anything. So I fought this on appeal, explaining that I had no idea how this positive test could have possibly happened. But without being able to identify the source causing the positive test, I could not prevail."
The 6-foot, 170-pound backstop from the Dominican Republic will begin his suspension at the start of the regular season.
"This is a very serious matter -- one that I do not take lightly," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "We educate players across our system on the program and set the expectation that they fully abide by it. I am deeply disappointed in Raudy. I have spoken with him directly and he understands that he is ultimately responsible for what he puts into his body. In the end, I hope he learns from this experience."
Read is the 12th Minor Leaguer to be suspended this year.