Major League Baseball suspended Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano 80 games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy, the league announced Tuesday.
The suspension begins immediately, though Cano, 35, an eight-time all-star, is on the disabled list with a broken hand after getting hit by a pitch Sunday.
Cano tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic often used to dilute urine samples and cheat drug-testing regimens. It is the first PED suspension in his 14-year career.
“We were disappointed to learn today that Robinson had violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Our organization fully supports the program,” the Mariners said in a statement. “Robinson made a mistake. He has explained to us what happened, accepted the punishment and has apologized to the fans, the organization and his teammates.
“We will support Robinson as he works through this challenge.”
In a statement, Cano admitted that he took Furosemide and said it was given to him by a licensed medical doctor in the Dominican Republic to “treat a medial ailment.”
“For more than 15 years, playing professional baseball has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life,” Cano said in part. “I would never do anything to cheat the rules of the game that I love, and after undergoing dozens of drug tests over more than a decade, I have never tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the simple reason that I have never taken one.”
Cano said he decided to accept the suspension because he does not deny consuming Furosemide, but he called accepting the suspension “the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life.”
Cano, who has hit at least 20 home runs in eight of the past nine seasons, was hitting .287 with four home runs before breaking his hand.
Cano will be eligible to return in mid-August but would not be allowed to participate in the playoffs, per MLB rules. The Mariners have missed the playoffs 16 years in a row, but they began Tuesday with a 23-17 record, just a game and a half out of an American League wild-card spot.
Read more from The Post: