BOSTON (CBS) — When the Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano to an astounding 10-year, $240 million contract, this is not what they envisioned taking place.
On Tuesday, Cano was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned substance. Specifically, Cano tested positive for furosemide, which is used to mask banned substances in tests.
The 35-year-old Cano admitted to taking furosemide but claimed that it was given to him by a doctor in the Domincan Republic to “treat a medical ailment.”
“For more than 15 years, playing professional baseball has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life,” Cano said in a statement. “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 [a PED]. Today I decided to accept MLB’s suspension. This was the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life, but ultimately the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given this substance. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates and the Mariners organization. I am extremely grateful for the support I have received during this process, and I look forward to rejoining my teammates later this season.”
The Mariners said they support the league’s implementation of the drug policy.
“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,” the Mariners said in a team statement. “We will support Robinson as he works through this challenge.”
Cano was set to miss time anyway after he suffered a broken hand on Sunday. He’ll nevertheless be issued an 80-game suspension and will not be eligible to play in the postseason if the Mariners qualify.
In his four-plus seasons with the Mariners, Cano owns a .294 batting average and an .824 OPS, and he averaged 24 homers and 90 RBIs per season from 2014-17. Those numbers represent only a slight dip from Cano’s final four seasons with the Yankees, when he batted .312 with a .906 OPS and an average of 29 home runs and 107 RBIs per year.
This season, Cano is batting .287 with an .825 OPS, ranking fourth and third — respectively — among AL second basemen in those categories.