‘Lifetime Suspension… Sort Of’

“New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia made baseball history…becoming the first player to be ‘permanently suspended’ by ‘Major League Baseball’, after testing positive again for a performance-enhancing substance. INSIDE SPORTS, Jenrry Mejia--Lifetime Suspension, 800x800

“MLB said Mejia tested positive for ‘boldenone’ — which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing — and that the right-hander also is permanently suspended from playing minor league baseball.

“It marked his third positive PED test in the past year, triggering the lifetime expulsion.

“Mejia originally was handed an 80-game suspension in April for a positive test for ‘stanozolol’, an anabolic steroid. In July, three weeks and seven appearances into his return with the Mets, he was suspended 162 games for testing positive for both ‘stanozolol’ and ‘boldenone’.

“The second positive test actually occurred while Mejia was still serving the first suspension.

“The Mets nonetheless decided to tender Mejia a contract in December for the 2016 season. Mets officials reasoned that despite Mejia letting down the team, he was worth bringing back to the organization because he would receive only a prorated portion of his salary — less than $1 million — and be eligible for the postseason.  Mets logo

“Mejia had 99 games left to serve on his second suspension and had been due to return to the Mets in late July.

“Mejia, 26, may apply to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement in one year {?!?}. If reinstated, he would have to sit out a minimum of two years before being able to pitch again in the majors. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball’s arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without “just cause’ . The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years.

“Mejia told Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez in Spanish:

“It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

“Mejia had been starting with Licey in the Dominican Republic during winter ball.

“MLB suspensions may be honored in leagues in other countries such as Japan, South Korea and Mexico, but that is each league’s decision. However, suspended players are allowed to compete in winter leagues, such as in Mejia’s native Dominican Republic. Independent leagues are not compelled to honor MLB suspensions but may choose to do so.

“Mejia becomes the first major or minor league player to receive a permanent suspension under MLB’s drug program. Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, then in the minor leagues, was suspended several times for drugs of abuse from 2003-05 but was allowed to return each time.

“During a time when there was not a drug agreement, Steve Howe was suspended for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992, after the pitcher’s seventh drug- or alcohol-related incident. Arbitrator George Nicolau said doctors concluded Howe suffered from attention deficit hyperactive disorder and cut the suspension to time served, which was 119 days…

–‘Jenrry Mejia first player to get ‘permanent’ ban for 3rd positive PED test’,
Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer, Feb 13, 2016


“The 26-year-old right-hander was the Mets’ closer in 2014, then was suspended for 80 games last April 11 following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. At the time, he said,

“I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.”

“Mejia returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.

“I think not surprisingly there’s a tremendous amount of disappointment, I think to some extent, anger, to some extent, amazement that this could happen so soon after a previous suspension was completed”, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said then. “This is the consequence of making bad choices.”

“Under pressure from Congress to toughen their drug program, major league players and teams agreed in November 2005 that a third positive test for PEDs would result in a lifetime ban. His 162-game suspension had matched the longest under the big league program, a year-long ban served by the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez in 2014 that originally was 211 games before an arbitrator reduced it… A-FraudWeb

“A Dominican signed by the Mets in 2007, Mejia reached the major leagues in 2010 and became their closer in 2014, when he had 28 saves in 31 chances…

“Because of the suspensions, Mejia received just $496,311 of his $2,595,000 salary last year. He will receive none of his $2.47 million salary this year…”

–’Mets Pitcher Jenrry Mejia 1st to Draw Lifetime Drug Ban’,
Ronald Blum, AP baseball writer, Feb. 12, 2016

‘Jenrry Mejia professes innocence; ex-teammates ‘disappointed’ after lifetime ban’

“We could have really used him in the bullpen last year”, one Mets player told the New York Daily News. “He let his teammates down last year, we were counting on him. … He has let us down again.”

“I guess I am just shocked he would try it again”, another Mets player told the Daily News. “It’s a shame. But we’ve got to move on. He can’t help us now. I kind of feel bad for him.”

‘Twitter crushes Mets’ Jenrry Mejía after lifetime suspension’


Abraham Almonte (Photo by Hannah Foslien - Getty Images)
Abraham Almonte (Photo by Hannah Foslien – Getty Images)

‘Indians OF Abraham Almonte Suspended 80 Games After Testing Positive For PED’

“On Friday, outfielder Abraham Almonte was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

“The team released the following statement after news of Almonte’s suspension broke:

“We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Abraham Almonte for violating Major League Baseball’s ‘Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outlined by Major League Baseball’s ‘Collective Bargaining Agreement’, we will not comment further on the circumstances surrounding this announcement.”

“The 26-year-old outfielder tested positive for ‘Boldenone’, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 


“Almonte, who was acquired by the Indians in a trade with the San Diego Padres last season, figured to have the best shot of opening the season as the Tribe’s center fielder. Those plans will certainly change.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing”, GM Mike Chernoff said on a conference call with the media. “We fully support Major League Baseball’s program. The suspension is what it is: It’s 80 games for a player that we had expected to contribute to the major league team. At this point, we’re just digesting the news as well, but we’re going to have to rely on the depth that we have here and try to fill a hole that he otherwise would have filled.”

“After coming over to Cleveland in 2015, the switch-hitter slashed .264/.321/.455 (106 OPS+) with five homers and 20 RBI in 51 games. The young outfielder played well enough down the stretch to warrant a spot on the big league roster in 2016.

“His spot will now be vacated, as Almonte will remain with the Major League club during Spring Training but will be moved off the 40-man roster and to the restricted list to begin the year. The Indians will not be responsible for his salary during the suspension.

“Abe has accepted responsibility for the test results as he talked with me and Tito (manager Terry Francona)”, Chernoff said…”

–‘Indians OF Abraham Almonte Suspended 80 Games After Testing Positive For PED’,
T.J. Zuppe, 92.3 The Fan, February 26, 2016

Cover IMAGES: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports 
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