(Reuters) - Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol, Major League Baseball announced on Friday.
The suspension of Santana covers the first 80 games of the 162-game 2015 regular season.
The 32-year-old Dominican right-hander, who signed a four-year deal worth $54 million with the Twins as a free agent this offseason, said he did not knowingly take a banned substance.
“I am very disappointed that I tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. I am frustrated that I can’t pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body,” Santana said in a statement.
“I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance.”
Santana, a 10-year MLB veteran, was 14-10 with a 3.95 earned run average last season with the Atlanta Braves.
“Moving forward, I need to be more careful on what I consume in my home country,” he said.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Steve Keating