Jorge Polanco informed the Twins on Sunday that he would be serving an 80-game suspension due to the presence of Stanozolol in his body. Polanco was informed that he violated Major League Baseball’s drug policy in February and decided over the weekend to drop his appeal.
Polanco, 23, insisted he did not knowingly put the performance-enhancing substance in his body, saying he believes a trainer back in his native Dominican Republic gave him the substance as a part of vitamin supplements.
“To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid,” Polanco said in a statement. “I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for the error in my judgment.”
Assuming no rainouts, Polanco will be eligible to play again on June 30, and he will definitely be missed in the Twins infield.
Polanco compiled a 2.2 WAR in his first full season for the Twins, hitting 30 doubles and driving in 74 runs. Polanco was one of the Twins’ most consistent hitters down the stretch and was constantly penciled into the middle of manager Paul Molitor’s lineup. Eduardo Escobar appears to be his replacement at the position.
Major League Baseball has been trying to implement a lot of questionable rules (pace of play regulations) and has been under scrutiny for the 2017 offseason, but drug testing is one aspect of the game they have had a phenomenal grasp on. The penalties have become harsher, as a third failed test results in a lifetime ban, and in response to the potential punishments, the league has become significantly cleaner. The incentive to cheat in order to play better is now outweighed by the effect a failed test can have on your career in terms of future employers and reputation.