Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano has been suspended 80 games without pay for violating baseball’s joint drug agreement, the league announced in a statement on Tuesday.
Cano, 35, tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic used to help treat fluid retention and swelling that is caused by congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease, or other medical conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Furosemide is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s website as a prohibited substance because of its use as a masking agent.
Shortly after the suspension was announced, Cano issued a statement on his Twitter account.
Cano said the substance was given to him by a doctor in his native Dominican Republic.
“While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful,” Cano wrote.
The slugger was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand after being hit by a pitch on Sunday.
Cano is a veteran of 14 MLB seasons and has averaged 146 games per campaign since breaking into the league in 2005. An eight-time all-star, he was hitting .287/.385/.441 this year with four home runs and 23 RBI.
The drug suspension ensures Cano won’t be allowed to play for the Mariners if they reach the playoffs, and could also impact his Hall of Fame chances. He has tallied 2,417 career hits so far and with five full years left on his 10-year, $240-million contract, reaching the 3,000-hit mark is not a stretch. However, even if he reaches that cherished milestone, his Cooperstown candidacy could now be looked at differently by voters.
“Robinson made a mistake,” the Mariners said in a statement. “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.”