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Major League Baseball banned San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano for life after determining that he placed hundreds of bets on baseball, including wagers on games involving the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was with the team last season. Marcano becomes the first active player in a century banned for life because of gambling;

On Tuesday, MLB officials said their investigation found Marcano had placed 387 baseball bets, including 231 MLB-related wagers between Oct. 16, 2022, and Nov. 1, 2023. All wagers totaled over $150,000. The announcement comes just one day after the investigation into bets on baseball made by the 24-year-old Marcano was publicly revealed

Marcano was first signed by the Padres as an amateur free agent from Venezuela in 2016, and traded to the Pirates five years later. He returned to the Padres in November on waivers, and spent much of the season on the injured list. The alleged sports betting occurred last year while Marcano was on the injured list after sustaining a season-ending ACL injury in July.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement: “The strict enforcement of Major League Baseball’s rules and policies governing gambling conduct is a critical component of upholding our most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans. The longstanding prohibition against betting on Major League Baseball games by those in the sport has been a bedrock principle for over a century. We have been clear that the privilege of playing in baseball comes with a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain types of behavior that are legal for other people.”

The Pirates said Tuesday in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed of Tucupita’s actions and are fully supportive of Major League Baseball’s ruling. The Pirates, along with MLB, Players Association, and every Club, work to ensure all involved within our game are aware of the rules and policies around gambling. While the thorough investigation revealed no evidence of any games being compromised, influenced, or manipulated in any way in this case, protecting the integrity of our game is paramount.”

In addition, four other players have been placed on one-year suspensions for unrelated bets with a legal sportsbook — Oakland A’s pitcher Michael Kelly, Padres minor league pitcher Jay Groome, Philadelphia Phillies minor league infielder José Rodríguez and Arizona Diamondbacks minor league pitcher Andrew Saalfrank were all found to have violated MLB’s gambling policies.

Editorial credit: Deli Tahal /

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