At the start of this season, few, if any, baseball players were more appealing to shoe brands than San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. A PED suspension later, he’s looking for a new sponsor.
Adidas announced on Friday that it was ending its partnership with Tatis, two weeks after the shortstop was given an 80-game suspension by MLB for testing positive for the banned substance Clostebol. The brand statement, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:
“We believe that sport should be fair. We have a clear doping policy and can confirm that our partnership with Fernando Tatis Jr. will not continue.
Tatis’ relationship with Adidas dates back to 2020when he signed with the brand after an electric rookie year that saw him place third in NL Rookie of the Year voting despite having played just 84 MLB games.
Adidas appears to have already decided to remove Tatis from its website, as some URLs that previously led to Tatis-focused products, such as this search for men’s clothing or the main Tatis page, now redirect to generic pages and results “Page not found”.
Fernando Tatis Jr. suspended until early April/late May
Earlier this week, Tatis met the media for the first time since the suspension and profusely apologized to the Padres and their fans, saying he made “a mistake.” He claimed the Clostebol entered his system as part of a skin medication that he failed to clear with doctors at Padres, to which some doping and dermatology experts expressed skepticism.
If the Padres don’t make the playoffs this season, Tatis will be eligible to return to the Padres after 32 games next season, which would land on May 5. By then, it would be 579 days since Tatis last appeared in an MLB game, as he missed the first four months of the season with a wrist injury from an offseason motorcycle accident.
The Padres can increase that return with every game played in the playoffs, though they’ll have to get there first. San Diego is currently 1.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the third and final NL wildcard spot.
Tatis said he plans to use his unscheduled leave to undergo long-awaited shoulder surgery to address the issues that have plagued him since he was in the minors.