Sounders defender Torres hit with ten-game MLS ban for drug violation

The Panama international has also been fined 20 per cent of his annual salary after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance

Seattle Sounders defender Ramon Torres has been hit with a ten-game ban and fined 20 per cent of his annual salary after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The 33-year-old Panama international captain is also banned from participating in team training sessions or team events, with the exception of rehabilitation from an injury under the direction of Sounders staff.

The announcement came from the MLS on Friday, with governing body releasing a statement saying Torres had violated their Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) policy.

Torres’ suspension was calculated based on the league’s collective bargaining agreement and will be in place effective immediately.

The ban also extends to any friendly matches and scrimmages organised by the MLS club.

He will be unavailable for coach Brian Schmetzer until the Sounders’ clash with San Jose Earthquakes on September 29.

Fourteen days before the ban expires, Torres will be allowed to train with Seattle’s USL affiliate Tecoma Defiance – but is not allowed to participate in any of their matches.

Torres joined the Sounders from Colombian club Millonarios in 2015, and has made 77 appearances for the club – adding three assists during his stint.

In 2016, he scored the winning penalty in the MLS Cup final shootout as the Sounders claimed the trophy for the first time against Toronto FC.

He recently spent a period on loan in USL Championship with Seattle’s reserve team Tecoma Defiance, making one appearance.

Torres has been a Panamanian international since 2005, scoring 10 goals in his 110 caps.

His most famous national team moment came when he scored the winning goal against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying to send Panama into Russia 2018 and subsequently knocking out the U.S. from contention.

The centre-back started all three games for his nation at the 2018 World Cup as they crashed out in the group stage without a victory.

Prior to Panama’s final World Cup match against Tunisia, Torres announced his international retirement, but backflipped on that decision in September to play in a friendly versus Venezuela.

Torres was selected for three matches in Panama’s recent Gold Cup campaign that was ended at the quarter final stage by Jamaica.

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