Sports

MLB retroactively suspends Ozuna for 20 games

Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was retroactively suspended for 20 regular-season games on Monday by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 10 and covers the final 24 days of the regular season while he was on administrative leave, costing him approximately $1.55 million of his $12 million salary.

“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Marcell Ozuna violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Having reviewed the totality of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Ozuna violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate,” Manfred said in a statement.

Ozuna, 31, was arrested May 29 after police officers in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs said they witnessed him attacking his wife, Genesis, while the officers were responding to a 911 call. The original charges included felony aggravated assault by strangulation, but prosecutors dropped the felony charge in July.

In September, Ozuna entered a diversion program that could result in his domestic violence case being dismissed. He faces misdemeanor charges of family violence battery and simple assault, but when he entered the diversion program, Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Simone Hylton announced those charges will be dropped if he meets the resolution’s conditions within six months.

The conditions include six months of supervision that can be reduced to three months. Ozuna also was ordered to complete a 24-week family violence intervention program, complete at least 200 hours of community service and take an anger management course.

Ozuna’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 13.

He re-signed with Atlanta on a four-year, $65 million deal in February after hitting .338 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Braves during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

“Any instance of domestic violence is unacceptable, and we fully support the decision by the commissioner’s office regarding Marcell,” the Braves said in a statement. “We are encouraged to know that Marcell has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is taking the necessary measures to learn and grow from the situation.”

Ozuna did not play after May 25 and went on the injured list May 29 with two dislocated fingers on his left hand, missing the Braves’ run to their first World Series title since 1995.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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