Minnesota Twins right-handed pitcher Ervin Santana has received an 80-game suspension without pay for violating Major League Baseball's joint drug prevention and treatment program.
Santana tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol, according to a tweet from MLB Communications. He was set to be paid $13.5 million during the 2015 season, but as a result of the failed drug test he will not be paid his salary for the duration of his suspension.
However, in a statement released by the Twins' right-hander, Santana said he was not aware he had taken any performance-enhancing drugs.
"I am frustrated that I can't pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body," Santana said in the release. "I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance."
The 32-year-old came to the Twins as a free agent over the offseason and was set to be the team's No. 2 starter, which hands Minnesota a blow so close to the start of the 2015 season. Santana signed a four-year, $55 million contract in December after spending one season in the National League with the Atlanta Braves.
With Santana out of the picture for half of the 2015 season, the Twins will need to look elsewhere for a way to boost the rotation, one that was meant to keep them more competitive in the American League Central Division.
Santana has a lifetime ERA of 4.17 and 1,507 strikeouts over 1,882⅔ innings pitched in his 10 years in the major leagues.