The MLB announced Friday that Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Santana, who signed a 4-year, $55 million free agent contract with the Twins in December, tested positive for the PED stanozolol, and his suspension is effective immediately.
The 32 year-old was slated to be the number two pitcher in the Twins rotation this season. The team, in response to the suspension announcement, called up pitcher Aaron Thompson from Triple-A to take Santana’s spot.
In a statement released through the MLB Players’ union, Santana urged that he “would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance”. He accepted the suspension and stated that he will aim now to “continue to work hard, and when the suspension is up, come back to doing what I love.”
As a member of the Atlanta Braves in 2014, Santana went 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA, and has 119 career wins in 10 major-league seasons.
Santana’s suspension is the third in a little over a week resulting from a positive stanozolol test, following the suspensions of pitchers David Rollins and Arodys Vizcaino.
The Twins will begin their regular season Monday in Detroit against the Tigers.