ARLINGTON, Texas — Hector Santiago’s return from a 10-game suspension lasted all of two games and one appearance.
Now, his season is over. And it isn’t because of rosin or more accusations of using sticky goop on the baseball.
On Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball announced that the veteran left-handed pitcher has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for exogenous testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance that is a violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Santiago, 33, released the following statement through the MLB Players Association, saying he won’t appeal this suspension:
“Today, I have accepted an 80-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball. Recently, I was notified that I had tested positive for testosterone. In 2020, while I was not on the roster of a MLB club, I consulted a licensed physician in Puerto Rico who diagnosed me with a condition and recommended hormonal replacement therapy. Because I did not play in 2020, I did not consider that this therapy could ultimately lead to a positive test under MLB’s Joint Drug Program. That said, I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and I was not careful. Therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension. I apologize for any harm this has caused the Seattle Mariners, Mariners’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.”
Santiago was recently reinstated from a 10-game suspension for being in possession of an undisclosed foreign substance while making a relief appearance June 27 against the White Sox. After being removed mid-inning, Santiago had his hat, belt and glove checked by the umpire crew.
Home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi took particular notice of the inside palm of Santiago’s glove, believing there was a circular spot of something sticky. He ejected Santiago from the game and confiscated the glove, which was later sent to MLB officials.
“That’s what’s given to us, because going into this one, once it came up, I was just like, ‘I’m going to use rosin. That’s what we got. I don’t want this to be a big thing. I don’t want this to happen to me,’” Santiago said after that game. “And (Cuzzi) said he just felt some stuff sticky on the inside of the glove. So all I used was rosin.”
Santiago and the Mariners maintained that the spot in the glove was a mixture of sweat and rosin from the bag behind the mound. Santiago was suspended two days later but immediately filed an appeal through the MLB Players Association.
After a lengthy hearing July 9 at T-Mobile Park, and several days of deliberation, an arbiter, who is employed by MLB, upheld the 10-game suspension, which started after the All-Star break.