Mets' Cano handed 162-game suspension for positive doping test

FILE PHOTO: Sep 24, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) makes a throw to first base against the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has been suspended for 162 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Major League Baseball (MLB) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cano tested positive for anabolic steroid Stanozolol, MLB said.

His suspension is one of the most severe sanctions the league has ever imposed and will begin during the 2021 season, with the 38-year-old forfeiting a $24 million salary as a result, according to media reports.

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension,” said Mets President Sandy Alderson in a statement.

“The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”

The eight-time All-Star was traded to the Mets prior to the start of the 2019 season and was previously suspended for 80 games in 2018 for violating MLB’s drug policy.

Cano, who won the World Series with the New York Yankees in 2009, had 10 home runs and a .316 batting average during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season.

Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Toby Davis