When the Promise Is Broken: The Cautionary Tale of Jenrry Mejia


Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program states that if a player tests positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs once, he is automatically suspended for 80 games.  A second suspension sits you out for 162 games, a whole season, and 183 days without pay.  A very unlikely third positive test sees a player permanently suspended from Major League Baseball.  But then again, no one could be stupid enough to keep using PEDs after they’ve been suspended twice, right?

Insert New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia.  Once one of the most promising prospects in the game, Mejia has found himself permanently suspended from Major League Baseball.  His first suspension came on April 11, 2015 when he tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug stanozolol.  Fast forward to July 28 of the same year, and Mejia was handed down a second suspension, this time for stanozolol and Boldenone, a drug that increases muscle mass and was once common in horse racing.  Due to these suspensions, Mejia was slated to miss the Mets’ first 99 games of the 2016 season.  Despite this, the Mets resigned him to a one-year deal, thinking he would be nice help out of the bullpen come midseason.  It turns out the Mets should have been helping him instead, because on February 12 of this year, Mejia has been suspended a third and final time by the MLB, becoming the first player to be permanently banned on Major League Baseball’s new drug policy.  The culprit, yet again, was Boldenone.

However, it is not guaranteed that we have seen the last of Jenrry Mejia.  Under the current drug policy, Mejia can apply for reinstatement in one year, something he plans on doing.  While extremely unlikely, it is possible that Mejia could be back in organized baseball in 2018.

Signed as an international free agent in 2007, Mejia was supposed to go down in history as one of the all-time great relievers.  Thought by many to be the next Mariano Rivera, Mejia is now going down in baseball history, just not in the way he wanted.

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