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Lifetime Ban Looms For Padres Infielder Tucupita Marcano For Allegedly Betting On MLB Games

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Major League Baseball (MLB) is currently investigating player Tucupita Marcano for allegedly violating the league’s strict gambling rules.

The 24-year-old Venezuelan player could be banned for life depending on the outcome of an ongoing investigation. according to The investigation into Marcano, an infielder for the San Diego Padres, alleges he bet on MLB games featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates while he was on the disabled list last season. Details of the investigation have yet to be finalized as MLB and the MLB Players Association continue to negotiate.

A representative for Marcano declined to comment. MLB and the MLB Players Association also declined to comment. The San Diego Padres released a statement acknowledging the investigation but noting the incidents allegedly occurred while Marcano was playing for another team.

“We are aware that Major League Baseball is investigating an issue that occurred while the player in question was with a different organization unrelated to the San Diego Padres. We will not comment further until that investigation is complete,” the Padres said in a statement, according to the Journal.

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 24: Tucupita Marcano (number 30) of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the top of the fourth inning in a game against the Miami Marlins at LawnDepot Park on June 24, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

According to the outlet, Marcano’s last MLB appearance was against the Pirates on July 24, 2023, before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Marcano, who signed as a 16-year-old from Venezuela in 2016 and began his MLB career with the Padres in 2021, has played in 149 major league games, batting .217 with five home runs. (Related article: MLB star wants to join military after retirement, coach says)

The Journal said the investigation is part of a growing trend of gambling-related problems in sports following a Supreme Court ruling six years ago that legalized sports betting in the U.S. The National Basketball Association, for example, recently suspended players for gambling violations, and federal prosecutors have indicted a prominent baseball interpreter for embezzling funds to pay gambling debts.