SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle already knew Robinson Cano would be out of the Mariners lineup for several weeks, the result of a broken bone in his right hand. His absence will be significantly longer.

The All-Star second baseman was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday for violating baseball's drug agreement, becoming among the most prominent players disciplined under the sport's anti-doping rules.

Major League Baseball's announcement was a stunning development for a middle-of-the-lineup stalwart and a club expected to contend for a postseason spot. Cano tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic that can be used to mask performance-enhancing drugs.

In a statement released through the players' association, Cano said, "This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment." He said he did not realize it was banned.

Cano's suspension was a shock to his team. General manager Jerry Dipoto was informed Monday after Cano made the decision to drop his appeal. Seattle manager Scott Servais found out Tuesday morning.

Cano is the biggest baseball star busted since Melky Cabrera was suspended in 2012 while leading the National League in hitting. There have been 36 players suspended this year under the minor league drug program and six in addition to Cano under the big league program: Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read, Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley, Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.

If no games are postponed, Cano would be eligible to return Aug. 14 at Oakland.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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