DETROIT (AP) – Seattle Mariners pitcher Ryan Franklin was suspended 10 days for violating his sport’s steroids policy, the eighth major league player caught under tougher drug rules enacted this year.

The announcement Tuesday came one day after Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro was suspended after testing positive for steroids.

Franklin said he has “no idea” how he tested positive.

“There’s got to be a flaw in the system,” he said Tuesday before the Mariners played the Tigers at Comerica Park. “I have no clue. I tested in (early) May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative.”

The pitcher said he first was told of his positive test in May – and “thought it was a joke” – then appealed and appeared before two arbitration committees.

“I’m one of the guys who was supportive of strong testing,” Franklin said. “I believe I got to the big leagues on God-given talent, and that’s how I’ve stayed here. It’s hard to swallow.”

“I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that.”

Franklin, a 32-year-old right-hander, is 6-11 this season with a 4.61 ERA in 22 games, including 20 starts.

“We are very disappointed to learn this news,” Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said. “But at the direction of Major League Baseball, and, following its rules, we are not able to comment further.”

Manager Mike Hargrove declined to comment before Tuesday night’s game.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Franklin pitched for the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, going 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four appearances.

Franklin would not discuss what he tested positive for. But he did say that he took supplements he bought at a nutrition store. Franklin said he gave up all supplements after the positive test. After that, he said he tested negative.

“I’ll never take (supplements) again. … I won’t even take a vitamin until I’m done with baseball,” he said. “I hate what’s happened for the organization, for me, and my family. I’m done with taking anything.”


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