Former Mariner pitcher Pineiro gets 50-game drug ban

NEW YORK — Former major-league pitcher Joel Pineiro has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

The commissioner’s office announced the penalty Monday under the minor-league drug program.

The 35-year-old Pineiro is a free agent. He pitched in the minors for the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs earlier this year.

Pineiro pitched for 12 seasons in the majors with Seattle, Boston, St. Louis and the Angels. He went 104-93 and last played in the big leagues in 2011.

Pineiro said in a statement that he has never taken a performance-enhancing drug. He said a supplement he took to recover from a shoulder injury that sidelined him in 2012 and 2013 contained “a trace amount” of the prohibited substance.

The right-hander said he looks forward to pitching next year.

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