Triple-A Tacoma first baseman Ji-Man Choi received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for methandienone, a performance-enhancing substance.
The suspension takes effect immediately. Procedurally, Choi is placed on the restricted list for the length of the suspension without pay. It does create an opening on the Mariners’ 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.”
The Mariners issued the following statement:
“The Seattle Mariners are disappointed to learn of today’s suspension of AAA infielder Ji-Man Choi. The organization fully supports Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game.
“Per the Basic Agreement, the Mariners will have no further comment.”
Choi, 22, was batting .394 through 10 games for the Rainiers with one homer and five RBIs.