Twins shortstop Polanco banned 80 games for doping

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Miami (AFP)

Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance enhancing drug policy.

Polanco tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol, issuing an apology on Sunday via the MLB Players' Association in which he insisted he thought he was taking a vitamin supplement.

"Today, I have regretfully accepted my 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol," he said. "To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for my error in judgment.

"The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take.

"Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement and I take full responsibility for what is in my body."

Polanco said that he had planned to appeal, but withdrew that request out of respect for the Twins organization.

"My hope is that through this extremely disappointing situation other players will learn from my mistake," he said.

Polanco, 24, was a key player in the Twins' run to the 2017 playoffs, batting .318 with an impressive .913 on base-plus-slugging percentage over the final 54 games of the regular season.