Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who was given a lifetime suspension in February for a third violation of Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, is claiming that he was the victim of an MLB witch hunt.
In an interview with Ben Berkon of The New York Times, Mejia also said he did not receive proper support from the MLB Players Association.
Mejia became the first player in MLB history to be suspended permanently for steroid use. Mejia told The New York Times he was only guilty of his first failed drug test. He said after an inaccurate second test, MLB officials pressured him to reveal his doping contacts. Mejia also claims officials told him if he appealed his second failed test, they would find a way “to find a third positive.”
“I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career,” Mejia told Berkon.
The pitcher says the players’ union did little to defend him after his third violation.
“The association should have done more,” Mejia said. “[The union] should have been there to defend me—because that’s what they’re there for. They should have found something to appeal for.”
In five seasons with the Mets, Mejia posted a 3.68 ERA and 28 saves in 183 1/3 innings. He can apply for reinstatement in 2017, but will have to sit out a minimum of two seasons, meaning a potential return could only happen in 2018 at the earliest.
The players’ union declined comment to the Times. MLB denied making any threats to Mejia.