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San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano reportedly could face lifetime ban for betting on baseball

In Sports
June 04, 2024

San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is facing a potential lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for allegedly betting on games, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Marcano allegedly bet on multiple games involving the Pittsburgh Pirates last season when he was on their injured list. Specifics of those bets aren’t yet known. Four other players are also reportedly under investigation for allegedly betting on games in the minor leagues, too.

Though the investigation into Marcano is still ongoing, a decision on the potential lifetime ban “could be imminent,” according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Marcano, 24, has not played for the Padres this season. He went down with a right ACL injury in 2023 when he was with the Pirates, and he’s been recovering ever since. According to the report, Marcano bet on Pirates games only after he went down with the injury.

The Padres, who first signed him out of Venezuela and gave him his major league start in 2021, then signed him to a one-year deal this past offseason.

“We are aware of an active investigation by Major League Baseball regarding a matter that occurred when the player in question was a member of another organization and not affiliated with the San Diego Padres,” the Padres said in a statement, via The Wall Street Journal. “We will not have any further comment until the investigative process has been completed.”

Marcano, the league and the Players Association all declined to comment to The Wall Street Journal.

Marcano held a career-high .233 batting average last season with the Pirates. He had 18 RBI, 47 hits and three home runs in 75 games. He tore his ACL in late July, and missed the rest of the season as a result.

The gambling allegations against Marcano are just the latest in the league and the sports world in general in recent months. Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter pleaded guilty to charges after he reportedly stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to cover his illegal gambling losses. Ohtani was not involved in that scandal, which dominated the sport in the lead-up to the season.

Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter was given a lifetime ban from the NBA earlier this year, too, after the league said he purposely limited his participation in games for betting purposes and for betting on games. Porter, who is the brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., was on a two-way deal with the franchise.

West Ham midfielder Lucas Paquetá was charged by the English Football Association for allegedly breaching their betting rules last month. Former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired after a friend of his tried to make a $100,000 bet on the team. The NFL has cracked down on gambling, too, as several players have been hit with suspensions for violating gambling rules either while in the league or while in college.

Like in the NFL, Major League Baseball’s gambling policy prohibits players from placing any bets on baseball. They are allowed to bet on other sports legally. Any player who places a wager on a baseball game involving a team other than their own receives a one-year suspension, but betting on your own team leads to a lifetime ban.

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