The Boston Red Sox pitching staff took a hit on Wednesday as Steven Wright got suspended 80 games under the MLB’s performance enhancement policy. The pitcher reportedly tested positive for growth-hormone-releasing peptide 2, a banned PED substance. And as a result of the ban Wright will not be allowed to participate in the post-season this year.
Wright addressed the suspension on Wednesday at the Red Sox spring training facility. He told reporters that he failed the test during the offseason and tried to appeal the suspension. However, since he couldn’t provide proof it was unintentional he was forced to accept the suspension.
“We couldn’t figure out how this substance got into my body. But at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility,” Wright said, via the Boston Globe. “It falls on me.”
“I know the truth. People close to me know I wouldn’t intentionally do this. Unfortunately, sometimes things get into your system.”
The 34-year-old knuckleballer has spent the entirety of his major league career with the Red Sox . He had his best season in 2016, making his first All-Star game and throwing four complete games in 24 starts with a 3.33 ERA over 156.2 innings. He started five games in 2017 but his season was cut short after he was forced to undergo restorative surgery on his left knee. Wright was suspended 15 games last season for a violation of the MLB’s personal conduct policy and also missed part of the regular season and the entire postseason due to complications from the prior injury that forced him the majority of 2017. For the season, he appeared in 20 games with four starts, posting a 2.68 earned run average with 42 strikeouts and 26 walks over 53.2 innings.
The Red Sox also issued a statement about the suspension:
“The Boston Red Sox fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from the game,” the statement read. “While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter.”