Mets Pitcher Tests Positive For Steroids, Suspended 80 Games
The New York Mets have been placed in a position to scramble for a new closer following a positive steroid test from Jenrry Mejia.
The 25-year-old saved 28 games last season and was slated to be the full-time closer this year. He, however, missed what would have been a save chance on Opening Day in Washington when he injured or re-aggravated his elbow. That prompted the Mets to push him to the 15-disabled list. Now, he'll be suspended for 80-games after the steroid Stanozolol was found in his system.
Ironically, Mejia was the fourth pitcher in MLB to fail a steroid test in the last two weeks, and all reportedly for this same drug.
According to several reports, including USAToday, the failed tests have officials scratching their heads. Not because a few athletes may have been looking to cheat to gain a competitive edge - I mean that's why they test them, right? - but because this steroid is considered 'easy' to detect. In other words, if you were going to cheat, why wouldn't you do a better job of covering your tracks:
And the presence of Stanozolol in all four has raised questions as to why the easily detectable drug, popular with bodybuilders for its muscle-building and fat-burning properties, may have made a resurgence. Stanozolol was the anabolic steroid that tripped positive tests by Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson in the 1988 Olympics and former big-league star Rafael Palmeiro in 2005.
Baseball has yet to find a connection between the four positive tests, the most among major leaguers since 2012. MLB did suspend 14 players for drug-policy violations stemming from the Biogenesis scandal in 2013, but none of them were caught by testing,
Mejia has released an apology, while also claiming to be confused that a steroid was found in his system:
“I know the rules are the rules and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system … I have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury. I have worked way too hard to come back and get to where I am, so I would never knowingly put anything in my body that I thought could hold me out further.
“I am sorry to the Mets organization, my teammates and the fans, as well as my family.”
The other three suspended players are Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins, David Rolling from Seattle Mariners and Arodys Vizcaino from the Atlanta Braves.