NEW YORK: New York Mets pitcher Jenry Mejia, the first player issued a lifetime doping ban by Major League Baseball, told the New York Times he was the victim of a conspiracy.
The 26-year-old Dominican right-hander told the newspaper that Major League Baseball officials were out to get him in a witch-hunt and faulted players’ union officials for not finding grounds to appeal his unprecedented punishment.
Last month, Mejia tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid — his third positive test for a banned performance-enhancing substance in less than one year, which under league rules brings a permanent ban.
But Mejia, speaking through an interpreter to the newspaper, said he was only guilty of the first violation. Mejia said the second positive test wasn’t accurate and, after its results were announced, MLB officials pressured him to share information about his doping connections.
“I felt there was a conspiracy against me,” Mejia said. “I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”
Mejia told the Times that MLB officials said if he appealed the results of the second test, “they will find a way to find a third positive.”
Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, denied Majia’s claim.
“No one at MLB or representing MLB has met with Mejia regarding any of these drug violations,” he said
Mejia said he doesn’t have any regrets about his decisions.
The life ban also prohibits Mejia from playing in pro baseball leagues in other countries, including Japan, South Korea and Mexico.
Doping test policy rules allow Mejia to apply for reinstatement in one year to commissioner Rob Manfred but he must sit out a minimum of two seasons before he could be reinstated to pitch in Major League Baseball.