For the second time in as many weeks, a performance-enhancing drug scandal rocks a Bay Area baseball team in playoff contention. The culprit this time is pitcher Bartolo Colon, 39, of the Oakland Athletics.

Colon was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone, a banned substance. San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, 27 was suspended last week for the same substance and received the same suspension. Oakland has 39 games remaining in the season. If the Athletics make the postseason, Colon will have to sit out. If not, Colon, who is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, will have to sit the first 11 games of next season, if and when he signs a contract.

"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the Joint Drug Program."

Colon, the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner had posted a record of 10-9 with a 3.43 earned run average. In his last start on August 18, Colon went eight innings against the Cleveland Indians surrendering five hits and struck out three in an 8-5 win. It was Colon’s 4th win in his last 5 starts.

The Athletics (67-56) are currently five games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West and, along with the Tampa Bay Rays, hold one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League. The Baltimore Orioles are a half game behind Oakland and the Detroit Tigers are one full game behind Oakland, respectively. The Athletics visit Tampa for the start of an important four-game series on Thursday night. –Chris Camacho

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