Twins Pitcher Santana Gets 80-Game Suspension for Steroids

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Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana was suspended without pay for the first 80 games of the Major League Baseball season for steroid use.

The right-hander tested positive for stanozolol, MLB said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

Santana accepted the punishment while saying he must have unknowingly ingested the performance-enhancing substance during an offseason visit to the Dominican Republic.

“I never knowingly took anything illegal to enhance my performance,” Santana said yesterday in a statement e-mailed by the players’ union.

Santana signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Twins on Dec. 13, ESPN said, six weeks after being granted free agency by the Atlanta Braves.

Santana, who spent seven months with the Braves, has a 119-100 record with a 4.17 earned run average in 10 major league seasons. In eight years with the Los Angeles Angels, Santana went 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA.

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