Choi lands 50-game suspension

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.comApril 18, 2014 

Tacoma Rainiers first baseman Ji-Man Choi was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday after testing positive for methandienone, a performance-enhancing substance.

The suspension takes effect immediately. Procedurally, Choi is placed on the Seattle Mariners’ restricted list for the length of the suspension without pay. It creates an opening on the team’s 40-man roster.

Choi issued a statement in which he expressed surprise at the finding.

“A banned substance was detected in my urine sample,” he said. “I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance.

“However, I also understand that without an explanation I must serve a suspension and I accept that. I look forward to putting this behind me and to returning to help the Mariners’ ballclub once my suspension has ended.”

Choi, 22, was batting .394 through 10 games for the Rainiers, with one homer and five RBIs.

The Mariners issued a statement saying that the franchise was “disappointed” to learn of the suspension but fully supports baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program.

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