Mariners’ Santiago banned 80 games for positive drug test

Sports

Seattle Mariners pitcher Hector Santiago tosses the baseball while returning to the mound during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Seattle. It was the first game back for Santiago after he served a 10-game suspension for violating MLB’s rules for foreign substances. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

NEW YORK (AP) — Turns out Héctor Santiago was using more than sticky stuff.

The Seattle Mariners pitcher was suspended for 80 games Thursday by Major League Baseball following a positive test for external testosterone, exactly one month after he was banned for 10 games when he became the first player penalized under the sport’s crackdown on grip-enhancing substances.

While the sticky substance penalty was with pay, the suspension under MLB’s drug program will cost him about half his $700,000 major league salary.

“In 2020, while I was not on the roster of a MLB club, I consulted a licensed physician in Puerto Rico who diagnosed me with a condition and recommended hormonal replacement therapy,” Santiago said in a statement issued through the Major League Baseball Players Association.

“Because I did not play in 2020, I did not consider that this therapy could ultimately lead to a positive test under MLB’s joint drug program. That said, I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and I was not careful. Therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension. I apologize for any harm this has caused the Seattle Mariners, Mariners’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.”

A 33-year-old left-hander, Santiago is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season. He is a 10-year big league veteran, going 48-51 with a 4.12 ERA and six saves for the Chicago White Sox (2011-13, 2018-19), Los Angeles Angeles (2014-16), Minnesota Twins (2016-17), New York Mets (2019) and the Mariners.

Santiago was the fourth player suspended this year under the major league drug program after Miami pitcher Paul Campbell, Colorado third baseman Colton Welker and San Francisco pitcher Daniel Santos.

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