May 24 (UPI) -- Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo was suspended for 80 games Thursday for violating MLB's joint drug prevention and treatment program.
"The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Erythropoietin [EPO], a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball's joint drug prevention and treatment program," the league said in a statement.
Castillo's suspension is effective immediately.
"I was recently notified by Major League Baseball that I had tested positive for EPO, a substance that is prohibited under MLB's Joint Drug Agreement," Castillo said in a statement through the MLB Players Association.
"The positive test resulted from an extremely poor decision that I, and I alone, made. I take full responsibility for my conduct. I have let many people down, including my family, my teammates, the White Sox organization and its fans, and from my heart, I apologize. Following my suspension, I look forward to rejoining my teammates and doing whatever I can to help the White Sox win."
The 31-year-old is hitting .267 with six home runs in his ninth season. He joined the White Sox in December as a free agent.
"The Chicago White Sox were saddened and disappointed to learn of the suspension of catcher Welington Castillo for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. "Welington has apologized to the team and his teammates and has taken full responsibility for his actions. He understands that he has negatively affected the team and has fallen short of the expectations we have of our players.
"The White Sox fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game."
Chicago announced a series of roster moves after the news of Castillo's suspension. The White Sox placed infielder Leury Garcia on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee sprain, purchased the contract of catcher Alfredo Gonzalez from Class AAA Charlotte and recalled outfielder Charlie Tilson from Charlotte.
Castillo is due $7.25 million in 2018 and 2019. He has an $8 million team option in 2020.