Twins' Michael Pineda slapped with 60-game suspension after positive test for banned substance

A massive blow to the Twins.
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Michael Pineda

A major blow to the Twins this weekend as starting pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended 60 games for violating the MLB's policy on banned substances. 

This from ESPN's Jeff Passan: "Twins starter Michael Pineda has been suspended for 60 games for a drug violation, sources tell ESPN. He originally got an 80-game suspension, but it was reduced to 60 on appeal, as a compelling case was made that a banned diuretic he used was not a masking agent for PEDs."

According to MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park, Pineda tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, which Park says is a "diuretic in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program."

"I'd like to begin with my sincere apologies to the Twins organization, the fans, my teammates, and my family for my error in judgement," said Pineda, in a statement released by the MLB Players Association. 

Pineda said he took a medication given to him by a "close acquaintance" who assured him it would help him manage his weight. Pineda added that he "never intended to cheat the system." 

Pineda statement

Pineda has been Minnesota's best starting pitcher since the All-Star break, and now his season is effectively over. 

In a statement, the Twins said: “We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Michael Pineda for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate banned substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program, the Minnesota Twins will not comment further on this matter.”

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