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Soccer: MLS bans Torres for 10 matches over failed drug test

Soccer: MLS bans Torres for 10 matches over failed drug test
FILE PHOTO: May 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Seattle Sounders defender Roman Torres (29) plays the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports - 12737102 -
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(Reuters) – Major League Soccer on Friday said that it was suspending Panamanian Roman Torres for 10 games after the Seattle Sounders defender tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Torres was also fined 20 percent of his annual salary for violating the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Policy effect, the league said.

The suspension takes immediate effect. Torres will be eligible to play again for the Sounders in the Sept. 29 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 33-year-old, who is also the captain of Panama’s national team, is in his fifth season with the Sounders, who won the MLS Cup in 2016.

Torres released a statement on Twitter saying he had never intentionally taken any performance-enhancing substances.

“I accept the analysis which possibly was due to having inadvertently ingested a contaminated nutritional supplement, which I purchased in the United States,” he wrote.

“With the help of God, I will soon be back on the field doing what I love the most in the world — playing football and defending the colours of my club and my country, Panama.”

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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