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Marlins rookie pitcher Campbell gets 80-game drug suspension

Miami Marlins rookie right-hander Paul Campbell was suspended 80 games on Monday after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug program.

The suspension involving the performance-enhancing drug dehydrochlormethyltestosterone was effective immediately, MLB said.

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The 25-year-old Campbell, a Rule 5 acquisition in December from Tampa Bay, said he never knowingly ingested the PED, or had even heard of it.

“Due to the fact that I do not know the origin of how this substance has entered into my system, I currently have no viable defense,” Campbell said in a statement. “I have unfortunately become one of the many athletes, across multiple sports, who are presenting themselves to the world and asking for members of the anti-doping world to help us find answers as to why this metabolite is continuing to show up in athletes’ bodies, and ultimately costing them significant detours in their careers.”

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Campbell apologized for bringing “negative light” to those who believe in him. He made his big league debut this season and was 0-2 with an 8.74 ERA in five games and 11 1/3 innings. He made one start for Miami, last Saturday in Washington, and gave up four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Marlins general manager Kim Ng said the organization was disappointed by the news of Campbell’s suspension.

“The Marlins support MLB’s continued efforts to maintain a level playing field for our athletes,” Ng said in a statement.

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