Mets second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 162 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug for the second time in his decorated career.
The 38-year-old Cano will miss the entire 2021 season and lose $24 million US in salary. The eight-time All-Star hit a robust .316 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in this year’s pandemic-shortened season.
Minus Cano, New York could move good-hitting Jeff McNeil into a regular spot at second base. The suspension also will surely prompt calls by Mets fans to sign free agent DJ LeMahieu, an AL MVP candidate this year with the Yankees.
The penalty came less than two weeks after Steve Cohen bought the Mets for $2.4 billion, a move that created an avalanche of positivity for a team that has reached the playoffs just three times in the last 20 years.
The commissioner’s office said Cano tested positive for Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. He was penalized 80 games in May 2018 while with Seattle after a positive test for Furosemide, a diuretic that some athletes have used to mask other substances.
There was no immediate comment from Cano or the players’ union.
Alderson was hired by Cohen on the day the Mets sale was completed. General manager Brodie Van Wagenen exited the same day — Van Wagenen made the trade to get Cano from Seattle in December 2018 after previously being his agent.
Ineligible for playoffs
In a move that polarized Mets fans, the high-priced Cano and big league saves leader Edwin Diaz were acquired in a deal that sent top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic and young pitching to the Mariners.
Cano was set to head into the eighth year of his $240 million, 10-year contract. He will not be eligible for the playoffs if the Mets make the post-season.
In 16 seasons, he is a career .303 hitter with 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves. He played 49 games this year in a season shortened from the usual 162 to 60 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cano became a star with the Yankees, then signed a big contract with the Mariners. His ban during the 2018 season made him among the most prominent players penalized under baseball’s anti-doping rules.
At that time, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” Cano said he didn’t realize the drug was banned by MLB.
McNeil has hit .319 in three seasons with the Mets and was an All-Star in 2019. Second base is probably his most natural position, though he’s done fine while also playing third base, left field and right field.
Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests – CityNews Toronto
Hockey Canada has temporarily shutdown national junior team selection camp following the confirmation of two positive COVID-19 tests among players.
Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that players, coaches and staff at the camp have entered a 14-day quarantine retroactive to Monday. All camp activities will be paused until Dec. 6.
The original announcement of the positive player tests came on Tuesday – three days after Hockey Canada said a “non-core member” of the team’s staff also tested positive. Hockey Canada said it was suspending all camp activities for the day, including a scheduled intrasquad game, at the time.
Both players and the staff have been in quarantine at the team’s hotel in Red Deer, Alta.
Players, coaches and staff all took mandatory COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the camp and have been tested regularly while there.
Hockey Canada is in the midst of their selection camp ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton that opens on Christmas Day.
“Hockey Canada has confirmed that all players, coaches and staff are considered close contacts and are therefore subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period under Alberta Health Services,” said senior vice-president of national teams, Scott Salmond.
“Upon learning of the positive tests on Monday, the decision was made to suspend all camp activities and quarantine players and staff immediately. As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members will go through additional testing before resuming any camp activities.”
Canada seeks its second consecutive gold medal at the tournament, which would be its 19th title all-time.
All officials for WJC from Canada only – TSN
EDMONTON — All 26 on-ice officials at the world junior men’s hockey championships in Edmonton will be from Canada.
International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments normally have an international cross section of referees and linesmen.
The IIHF is limiting the pool of officials to the host country to reduce risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The 10-team world under-20 men’s tournament is scheduled for Dec. 25 to Jan. 5 in the Alberta capital.
“The game officials we would normally choose would have come from many different countries,” IIHF officiating manager Danny Kurmann said Wednesday in a statement.
“Every additional person we bring into the bubble is a risk, so we decided to source the officials locally in order to reduce the risk to travelling personnel and teams.”
The IIHF said all 10 participating countries approved of the decision.
“Special events require special measures, and we are confident that this group will be able to uphold the officiating standards of this tournament,” IIHF officiating committee chairman Sergej Gontcharov said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.
Diego Maradona, an Argentinian hero and a global phenomenon – Aljazeera.com
The unique gifts of football legend Diego Maradona throughout his career appeared to come from a higher force.
He once infamously referred to a “hand of God” and the unique football talents of Diego Armando Maradona, who died on Wednesday, appeared to come from a higher force.
Born in 1960 and raised in a shantytown on the outskirts of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, Maradona became a national hero and a global football superstar.
Just 1.65 metres tall, stocky and powerful, his dribbling skills and balance made him unstoppable. A prolific creator and scorer of magnificent goals, he is regarded as one of the best footballers – if not the best – ever.
He began playing for his country as a teenager and shone in 1986, when he led a simply good team to football greatness and a World Cup title.
It came after an unforgettable quarter-final against England, where Maradona punching the ball into the net for the first goal – what he was to call “the hand of God”.
Then, he scored a second goal of scarcely believable quality, when he dribbled past almost the whole England team before scoring, widely seen as the greatest individual goal in World Cup history.
Maradona also thrived in club football, playing for Spanish giants Barcelona in the early 1980s, and then for Napoli in Italy, whom he took to its first-ever Italian titles and where he is still treated as a favourite son.
But off the field, there was turbulence for Maradona. He became addicted to cocaine and was banned from both club and international football for failed drug tests.
He was banned again from football worldwide for 15 months after testing positive for doping at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
In 2004, he spent time in intensive care after a heart attack and his weight fluctuated during his battles with alcohol and drug addiction.
He had two daughters through his marriage with Claudia Villafane that ended in divorce, and a son born outside of the marriage.
In retirement, he was still visible – politically, in entertainment, even on the football field in charity matches.
In 2010, Maradona also managed his beloved Argentinian national team at the World Cup in South Africa.
Many doubted he could get the team to play as a coherent unit, but Maradona defied the critics until the team was defeated by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He dipped in and out of club management as well. Coaching in the United Arab Emirates was followed by a stint in 2018 taking over at Mexican second division club Dorados de Sinaloa.
It was not long before he returned to Argentina to lead Gimnasia y Esgrima in La Plata in 2019.
In true Maradona style, he stepped down after only two months in charge, only to rejoin again two days later.
His last public appearance was at a game on his 60th birthday on October 30, where he appeared frail and left at half time.
A few days later he was admitted to hospital, initially with anaemia and dehydration, but things quickly escalated and he needed surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.
The operation went well but less than two weeks later, he died of a heart attack.
Whether he is the greatest ever footballer is open to debate, but his incredible talent and contribution to the game’s history make him a phenomenon.
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