August 21, 2019
Boston Red Sox Latest News | Salmon Farming | Bangor Metro | Janet Mills | Today's Paper

Red Sox pitcher Wright suspended 80 games for growth hormones

Elise Amendola | AP
Elise Amendola | AP
In this Friday, June 22, 2018 file photo, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright delivers to the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright has been suspended for 80 games following a positive test for Human Growth Hormone.

FORT MYERS, Florida — Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will sit out the first 80 games of the season after testing positive for Human Growth Hormone, a second suspension for the knuckleballer who missed 15 games last year for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Wright, 34, said in a statement issued through the Major League Baseball Players Association that he learned of the positive test during the offseason.

“Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked as I have never intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes,” the statement said. “I have fully cooperated with MLB and will continue to try and identify the source of the result.”

The commissioner’s office said Wright tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2). He is the second player under the big league program to test positive for HGH, which has been screened for by baseball in blood tests since 2013.

“While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time,” the Red Sox said in a statement.

Wright was arrested on Dec. 8, 2017, at his home outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and charged with domestic related assault and prevention of a 911 call, both misdemeanors. The Boston Globe reported prosecutors retired Wright’s case contingent on him completing an anger management course, refraining from violent contact with his wife, and incurring no new criminal charges for a year.

A starter for most of his career, Wright spent the bulk of last season in the bullpen, going 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 games. In addition to the 15-game suspension, he also missed all of April recovering from knee surgery and then went back on the disabled list with knee inflammation and missed all of August.

He was originally on the roster for the first-round playoff series against the New York Yankees, but he told manager Alex Cora before Game 1 that his knee was bothering him. He did not appear in the postseason, when the Red Sox won their fourth World Series since 2004, and he had surgery on his left knee on Nov. 12.

Wright is ineligible to play in any postseason games this year and he will lose about half of his salary of $1,375,000. Last year’s suspension cost him $94,624 of his $1.1 million salary.

The only other player to test positive for growth hormone under the big league program was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin in 2016. Four players have tested positive for growth hormone under the minor league program since 2015.

 



Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like