Mets star Cano suspended for 162 games for doping violation

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Robinson Cano, the second-baseman for the New York Mets, will miss 162 games without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. AFP

New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano was banned 162 games after testing positive for the banned steroid Stanozolol in a second Major League Baseball (MLB) doping violation, MLB said on November 18.

“The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has received a 162-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Programme,” an MLB statement said.

“The suspension of Cano, who was previously suspended for a violation of the programme on May 15, 2018, will commence at the start of the 2021 regular season.”

Cano’s suspension without pay will cost him $24 million in salary.

Cano was with the Seattle Mariners when he was suspended in 2018 after testing positive for the diuretic furosemide, which can be used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs.

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Programme,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organisation, our fans, and the sport.

“The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano, 38, was suspended for 80 games in 2018, saying at the time he was prescribed furosemide for a “medical ailment” by a doctor in his native Dominican Republic.

The Mets acquired Cano after that season in a trade that brought him and Edwin Diaz to New York in exchange for Jay Bruce and star prospect Jarred Kelenic.

In his first season with the Mets, Cano hit just .256 as he landed repeatedly on the injured list. But he rebounded in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, playing 49 of 60 games and hitting .316 with 10 home runs.

Cano’s suspension will cost him his 2021 salary.