San Diego Padres player facing lifetime ban for alleged sports betting

UPDATE: San Diego Padres’ Tucupita Marcano banned for life from MLB for sports betting

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is under investigation by Major League Baseball officials for allegedly violating the league’s gambling policy, according to multiple reports.

Marcano, who joined the Padres in the offseason from the Pittsburgh Pirates and has spent the season thus far on the long-term injured list, has been accused of gambling on games shortly after sustaining a season-ending ACL injury in July of last year.

In a statement, Padres officials said they were aware of the investigation “regarding a matter that occurred when the player in question was a member of another organization and not affiliated with the San Diego Padres.”

“We will not have any further comment until the investigative process has been completed,” the statement continued.

The 24-year-old was first signed to the Padres as an amateur free agent from Venezuela in 2016. He was traded to the Pirates in 2021 and returned to the Padres on waivers last November.

Should he be found guilty of betting on baseball, Marcano could face a lifetime ban. According to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported on the ongoing investigation Monday afternoon, a penalty could be imminent.

The betting allegations against Marcano come in a season where gambling has loomed large.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was accused of stealing more than $16 million from the designated hitter to pay off debts with an illegal bookmarker. The accusations escalated to federal charges of bank and tax fraud last month, which Mizuhara pleaded guilty to after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

According to the Wall Street Journal, MLB officials are also investigating Ohtani’s teammate from the Los Angeles Angels, David Fletcher, who is accused of using the same illegal bookmarker to bet on sports.

Four other minor league players are also under investigation for baseball betting, the report added, but names and affiliation were not disclosed. However, the report noted that there is no evidence this alleged betting led to game manipulation.

Nexstar’s KSWB/KUSI has reached out to MLB for further comment on the investigation.

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