MLB slapped Emmanuel Clase with an 80-game ban on Friday, making the Cleveland Indians pitcher the second player from the Dominican Republic to be suspended for using illegal steroids in the past six weeks.
The right-handed pitcher violated MLB’s drug prevention and treatment program by testing positive for the prohibited anabolic steroid Boldenone, MLB said in a news release.
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In February, Houston Astros pitcher Francis Martes, of the Dominican Republic, was given a 162-game ban after testing positive for Boldenone.
Clase was expected to have a major role in the Indians’ bullpen this season.
His suspension will not begin until the start of the 2020 regular season, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Boldenone is sold under the brand names Parenabol and Equipoise and is used mainly as a veterinary medicine, including illegally in race horses.
The league said the 22-year-old Clase has been suspended without pay but did not say where or how Clase got the steroids.
The Indians said in a news release they don’t plan to appeal the decision and that he is free to rejoin the team once his suspension is over.
“We were disappointed to learn of today’s suspension of Emmanuel Clase for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy… we will welcome him back after the discipline has been served.”
The Indians acquired Clase in the December 2019 trade that sent two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers.
Clase is just the latest in a decades-long list of MLB players who have been suspended for being drug cheats.
New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez missed the entire 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, former league MVP Miguel Tejada was suspended 105 games in 2013 for drug use and Manny Ramirez was slapped with a 100-game ban in 2011 for failing a drug test.
In 2016, Dominican player Jenrry Mejia was banned for life after he tested positive for Boldenone. Mejia’s lifetime ban came about because it was his third suspension.