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Pannone suspended 80 games for PEDs

MLB.com @gregorMLB

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Major League Baseball announced on Friday afternoon that Blue Jays left-hander Thomas Pannone received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Pannone tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is commonly known as DHCMT. The drug is reported to be used as a form of anabolic steroids and is the same substance that former Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello tested positive for in 2016.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Major League Baseball announced on Friday afternoon that Blue Jays left-hander Thomas Pannone received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Pannone tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is commonly known as DHCMT. The drug is reported to be used as a form of anabolic steroids and is the same substance that former Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello tested positive for in 2016.

"I have personally known Thomas as long as he's been in professional baseball and I've only known him to have exceptionally high character and integrity, so when I heard this news I was extremely surprised," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement.

"Additionally, when he informed me that he was unaware of how this substance got into his system, I believed him at his word. We will continue to support Thomas and focus on his return to helping this organization after his suspension. Having said that, we feel strongly that the MLB Joint Drug Program has helped the game of baseball and will continue to do so."

Pannone was acquired by Toronto prior to last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline as part of a deal for reliever Joe Smith. He is ranked the No. 26 prospect in Toronto's system by MLB Pipeline and was expected to begin the year in the rotation for Triple-A Buffalo.

The 23-year-old was competing with prospect Ryan Borucki to become the first starter called up in the event of an injury but his suspension will now run deep into June. Pannone combined to go 9-3 with a 2.36 ERA over 144 2/3 innings at two levels last season.

The native of Rhode Island made three appearances for the Blue Jays this spring, including two starts, and allowed five runs over six innings. Pannone was optioned to Minor League Spring Training earlier this week.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Thomas Pannone