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Twins minor leaguer suspended

Twins minor league pitcher Anthony Swarzak received a 50-game suspension Friday for violating the league’s drug-of-abuse policy for a second time, the Pioneer Press reported.

This was his second violation under the new rules relating to drug abuse. Swarzak previously violated the policy during spring training in 2006.

He was not suspended for his first offense because the drug was not performance-enhancing. The “drug-of-abuse? list includes cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines and other narcotics. The policy for failing one of these tests puts the player on a “tracking system,? after the first offense, the Pioneer Press reported.

A second offense results in a 50-game suspension, which Swarzak received immediately Friday.

According to ESPN, Swarzak is the fourth minor leaguer suspended under the drug program this year, the second for a drug-of-abuse. There were 37 suspensions under the program last year -- 32 for performance-enhancing drugs and five for drugs of abuse.

Swarzak, 21, pitches for Class AA New Britain. He is been put in touch with the Twins’ employee assistance program for a second time.

"It's disappointing,? Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. “Fifty games is a long time in a season, and it's certainly going to hinder his development."

The Star Tribune did not have any reports about the suspension online as of 4 p.m. Saturday.