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Cano joins list of game’s best suspended for violations

May 15, 2018

FILE - In this May 12, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano looks skyward as he crosses home plate after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Cano has been suspended 80 games for violating baseball's joint drug agreement, the league announced Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano has joined a lengthy list of players who have been suspended for violating baseball’s drug agreement.

Cano was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic. The 35-year-old was the 87th player suspended since 2005, when testing with penalties for first violations began. He said the substance was given to him by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical problem.

What stands out about Cano’s place on the list is his place among baseball’s biggest names. After nine seasons and five All-Star appearances with the New York Yankees, Cano signed a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Mariners following the 2013 season.

The contract was the fourth-largest in major league history at the time, signaling Cano’s place as one of the game’s elite. Since then, the second baseman has earned three more All-Star appearances and hit a career-high 39 home runs in 2016.

Now, Cano has to sit and wait while his immediate future and long-term standing among the game’s greats are debated.

A look at some of baseball’s best who have been suspended under baseball’s drug program:

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

The three-time American League MVP was suspended for the entire 2014 season as part of MLB’s sweeping penalties handed down to players associated with Biogenesis of America, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. MLB said Rodriguez’s drug penalty was for his use and possession of numerous forms of performance-enhancing substances and for violating the labor contract by engaging in conduct to obstruct baseball’s investigation.

RYAN BRAUN

After a 50-game ban was overturned by an arbitrator who ruled the urine sample had been improperly handled, the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder accepted a suspension for the final 65 games of the 2013 season for violations of the drug program and labor contract. Like Rodriguez, the 2011 National League MVP had ties to Biogenesis.

STARLING MARTE

The up-and-coming Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder was suspended for 80 games early during the 2017 season after testing positive for the steroid Nandrolone. Marte had been an All-Star for the first time the season before and said “neglect and lack of knowledge led to this mistake.”

DEE GORDON

Cano’s current teammate in Seattle, the former Marlins infielder was the reigning NL batting champion when he was suspended for 80 games during the 2016 season. Gordon tested positive for external testosterone and clostebol, both performance-enhancing substances, and he claimed to have not knowingly taken any prohibited substances.

NELSON CRUZ

Also currently with Seattle, Cruz had two All-Star appearances on his resume when he was suspended 50 games as part of the Biogenesis punishments in 2013. The outfielder has continued to play well since his suspension, averaging 41.5 home runs over the last four seasons for both Baltimore and the Mariners.

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