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Baseball: Carp slugger Batista tests positive for banned substance

Xavier Batista (Supplied photo)(Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Hiroshima Carp first baseman Xavier Batista, who leads the Central League club with 26 home runs, has tested positive for a banned substance, the team said Saturday.

    The Carp deactivated the 27-year-old after hearing of the failed test from Nippon Professional Baseball.

    Batista entered Japanese baseball through the Carp's baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. It was his second chance in pro baseball after he spent 2009 to 2013 in the low minors with the Chicago Cubs organization.

    His pro career was revived at the Carp academy, and Batista joined the team on a developmental contract in 2016. The following season, Batista hit .367 in the pitcher-friendly Western League with 21 home runs in 48 games and was signed to a six-year contract extension.

    Batista's positive test is the second this season in NPB. Orix Buffaloes first baseman Joey Meneses tested positive early in the season. The first-year import received a one-year suspension from NPB on June 27.

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