New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol, a violation of the sport’s drug policy.
Mejia, a 25-year-old right-hander, started this season on the disabled list because of inflammation in his pitching elbow. He ended last season as the Mets’ closer, converting 28 of 31 save opportunities.
Mejia said while he accepts the punishment, he has “no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.” Mejia apologized to the Mets’ organization, his teammates and fans in a statement. The Mets said in a separate statement that they were “disappointed” to learn about Mejia’s violation and ban.
“I have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury,” Mejia said. “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.”
Mejia spent time as both a starter and reliever last season, compiling a 6-6 record with a 3.65 earned run average in 63 games, including seven starts.
MLB, which announced the suspension Saturday, said Mejia would not be paid during the ban. Mejia was scheduled to make $2.6 million this season.