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Robinson Cano finally speaks publicly about PED suspension

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano spoke Saturday for the first time in nearly two months. On May 15, he was suspended after testing positive for Furosemide — a diuretic that masks the effects of performance-enhancing drugs.

“For me this is the hardest thing that I’ve been going through in my life besides the death of my grandpa,” Cano told reporters. “As you guys know, I love this game so much. For me, baseball is everything.”

Cano, 35, was handed an 80-game suspension by Major League Baseball after he tested positive for a masking-agent — not a performance-enhancing drug itself. But MLB found it still violated the league’s joint-drug agreement.

In his absence, the Seattle Mariners (56-33) have excelled. They are 2 1/2 games back of the Houston Astros, and they faced off against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

Before the game, Cano fielded questions from the local media in a sit-down interview. But first, he provided a statement:

“The city of Seattle has become my second home for my family and I. I’m grateful to the organization, my teammates and the fans and as you guys know, I’ve been getting tested for the last 12 seasons and I’ve never had an issue with MLB policy. I was being treated for some medical ailments and I was being supervised by a doctor. But at the same time, I understand that everything that goes into my body, I’m responsible for that.

I wanted to apologize genuinely to the city of Seattle and to all the fans, and the young baseball players in the (United) States and the DR (Dominican Republic) and most importantly to my teammates. I wanted to show my face to you guys. I don’t think for me it’s fair to just come back and walk into the clubhouse. I’m here now to take questions. One thing I want you to know, because of my agreement with MLB, I’m not allowed to go into details.”

In the interview, Cano expressed his want to meet the media before heading home to the Dominican Republic in the coming days. There, he will train more than he has in Seattle: He can only work out at Safeco field in the morning.

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano discusses his suspension for use of diuretic often used to mask effect of performance-enhancing drugs. (AP Photo)

It’s been nearly two months since Cano was suspended. He appealed the suspension, claiming he took the drug for high blood pressure, but then he dropped the appeal just a few days before suffering a broken hand in a game in Detroit on May 13.

Cano said the hardest parts during the time sense have been his having to convey what happened to his teammates. He also said it has been tough not spending time with them, but that their successes has made sitting easier on him.

“Seeing the guys go out and give everything they’ve got made it easier for me as a teammate because if we were losing and I had to sit and watch those games I’d be telling myself, if I was there it would be different,” Cano said. “But you have to give the credit to the players, the manager, the coaching staff and the organization with the way they have pulled this team together even without me or anybody else, they can compete with anyone.”

And as for his takeaway throughout the entire process?

“We all make mistakes,” Cano said. “There is always someone out there making a mistake. If it didn’t happen to me, it could happen to somebody else. I mean we can judge anyone. We don’t know the situation that person is going through. I get it – a lot of people might judge me. The fans and anybody else can say what they think if they choose to. But at the same time, like I told the guys when I met with them – I do not want any of them to go through that situation. The way they’ve taken this, they’ve been on my side and I’m glad.”

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