Cubs' Russell suspended for 40 games by MLB
Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been suspended for 40 games after violating the MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement on Wednesday, with Russell's ban retroactive to September 21 and running into the start of the 2019 season.
An All-Star and World Series champion, had been on paid administrative leave while MLB investigated allegations the 24-year-old verbally and physically abused his wife of three years Melisa Reidy – formerly Reidy-Russell. The couple divorced in August 2018.
"My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Addison Russell violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy," Manfred said in a statement released by MLB.
"Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Russell violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover 40 games."
Russell was placed on leave in September when a blog post, believed to have been written by Reidy, detailed the allegations of abuse against the player. He called the allegations "completely false" in a statement released by the MLBPA on the 2012 first-round pick's behalf.
No criminal charges have been filed against Russell.
Russell released a statement on his decision not to appeal the suspension.
"After gaining a full understanding of the situation I have concluded it's in the best interest of my family to accept MLB's proposed resolution of this matter," the statement read, via ESPN. "I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child."
The Cubs were eliminated from postseason contention on Tuesday, so the ban has no playoff implications.