AP NEWS

Wright Hit with Long Suspension

March 7, 2019

By Jason Mastrodonato

Boston Herald

FORT MYERS -- Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy, the league announced Wednesday afternoon.

Wright, 34, tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2). He will not be eligible for the postseason.

Claiming ignorance as to how the substance entered his system, Wright said he knew he failed a league-mandated drug test sometime in the offseason but was appealing the suspension and didn’t inform the Red Sox until sometime last week.

“It was from an offseason test, I don’t know the exact date,” he said. “I did do an appeal. Through the process I realized the burden is completely on me ... somewhere it got into my system. It’s unfortunate. It was such low levels it literally could’ve been from anything. We couldn’t narrow it down from what it was. It falls on me to try to prove that and unfortunately I could not do it.”

Wright has had a rough time trying to rehab from the same invasive knee surgery as teammate Dustin Pedroia had done in 2017. He threw just 53.1 innings over 20 games last year while battling knee issues. His 2.68 ERA was encouraging and the Red Sox initially had him on the postseason roster, but he was a late scratch when he hurt his knee doing exercises before the playoffs began.

Did the difficult recovery from a knee surgery cause Wright to try taking any new substances?

“No, honestly, I did all the treatment with the PTs and all that, and nothing has changed,” he said. “That’s what’s frustrating about it. I worked my butt off this offseason since getting the surgery. I feel like I’m in a good spot, and from an offseason drug test this comes up. I’ve been dealing with it.

“At the end of the day, it falls on me. Regardless, even if I could figure out how it got into my system, it still falls on me to prove that it was unintentional and unfortunately I can’t. I don’t know where it came from. But I respect the program. I think it’s a great thing for the game.”