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F.P. Santangelo is off the Nationals’ broadcast after sexual misconduct allegation

F.P. Santangelo has missed several broadcasts for the Nationals, absences that had gone unexplained until Saturday. (Joshua Yospyn for The Washington Post)

The Washington Nationals recently learned of an allegation of conduct “inconsistent with [their] values as an organization” against broadcaster F.P. Santangelo and alerted his employer, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, a team spokeswoman said Saturday.

A person familiar with the situation said the allegation includes sexual misconduct.

“Late last week, we were made aware of allegations of conduct by F.P. Santangelo that are inconsistent with our values as an organization. We alerted MASN and revoked our approval of him as a member of our broadcast team. MASN assured us that they would investigate these allegations thoroughly,” a Nationals spokeswoman said in a statement Saturday in reference to anonymous allegations that recently surfaced on Instagram.

“After MASN notified us that their investigation was complete and that F.P. should be reinstated, additional posts appeared. Once again, we notified MASN and revoked our approval of F.P. as a member of our broadcast team indefinitely. Moving forward, we will refer all questions regarding this investigation to F.P.’s employer, MASN.”

Santangelo has been on and off Nationals broadcasts over the past week, leading to questions that neither the team nor the network would answer. He was not on the broadcast for Washington’s loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.

“What I have read in a recently published article from an anonymous individual about me is untrue and did not happen,” Santangelo said in a text message Saturday. “This is not representative of who I am as a man or a professional. I am confident that my name and reputation will be fully cleared.”

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A MASN spokesman said in a statement that it directs allegations that involve former major leaguers who now work as broadcasters to MLB’s Department of Investigations.

“MASN followed that policy in this instance, previously apprising MLB of this matter such that the league might adequately review it,” the statement continued. “Those former Major Leaguers acting as on-air media analysts on the network appear only with the advice and consent of the clubs and MLB.”

MLB declined to comment on MASN’s statement Saturday night. A person familiar with the situation said MLB will be involved in the matter moving forward.

Santangelo was first absent April 30, then missed two more games before he returned for the first two games of Washington’s series against the Atlanta Braves this past week. The Nationals and MASN declined to comment amid his absence.

The finale of that series was one of MLB’s planned broadcasts on YouTube, games that MLB Network staffs with a combination of network personnel and local talent. The Nationals promoted their appearance on the YouTube broadcast listing Santangelo as a color commentator alongside MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa.

But then Santangelo did not appear on the broadcast. In a text message to The Post, Santangelo called it a “simple miscommunication between the agent and the Nats,” who he said weren’t informed he was not doing the game that day anymore. A person connected to MLB Network said it usually tries to get an analyst familiar with each team but decided DeRosa, who played for the Nationals and the Braves, was equipped to do the job.

On Saturday, the Athletic reported that MASN and the Nationals had learned of an allegation made by a 31-year-old woman, who told the website Santangelo made unwanted advances and sexually assaulted her. The allegation came to light after an anonymous Instagram post surfaced and had popped up on social media in recent days.

Santangelo, 53, has been the color commentator for MASN broadcasts of Nationals games since 2011. The former utility infielder played parts of seven seasons with four major league teams.

In his absence, the broadcast has included former Nationals player Justin Maxwell, longtime local radio host Grant Paulsen and Dan Kolko, who was previously employed by MASN but now works for the Nationals. Kolko had been scheduled to appear on some of the recent broadcasts because play-by-play man Bob Carpenter was away on a scheduled vacation.