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Astros’ Emanuel banned 80 games for performance enhancer

NEW YORK – Houston Astros left-hander Kent Emanuel has been banned 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s drug prevention and treatment plan.

Emanuel has pitched at Triple-A the past three seasons but never in the majors. He is on Houston’s 40-man roster and was among the team’s pool of players available to use during the pandemic-shortened 60-game season.

Emanuel tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), a performance-enhancing substance. He denied intentionally taking the substance in a statement released by the union Thursday.

“I do not know how 7 picograms of the long-term metabolite of DHCMT got into my system,” he said. “But I know I have never knowingly or intentionally taken oral turinabol.”

The 28-year-old Emanuel has been a starter and a reliever in recent seasons. He was 8-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 28 games – seven starts – with Triple-A Round Rock in 2019.

Emanuel’s suspension was announced by the commissioner’s office.

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