Red Sox's Steven Wright Suspended 80 Games for PED Violation

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIMarch 6, 2019

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright walks off the field between innings of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Monday, June 11, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox will be without Steven Wright for half of the 2019 season after MLB levied an 80-game suspension against the pitcher, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Wednesday afternoon. 

Feinsand disclosed that Wright tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug called growth hormone releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2), which violates the MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

Minutes after reports of Wright's suspension, the Red Sox released a statement (h/t Feinsand):

"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. 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."

Wright has spent his entire major league career with the Red Sox since being called up in 2013. Last season, he contributed to Boston's World Series run with a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched.

Wright defended himself against purposefully taking a performance-enhancing substance while still accepting responsibility for a positive test.

"We couldn't figure out how this substance got into my body," Wright told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. "But at the end of the day, it's my responsibility. ... 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."

According to MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo, Wright was notified of a failed offseason test during winter. Wright appealed and, during his appeal, informed the Red Sox. His appeal was officially denied Tuesday night.

Wright also noted to Chris Mason that being ineligible for the 2019 postseason due to his suspension "flat-out sucks," but he still supports the league's joint drug policy.

This is the second consecutive year Wright has been ineligible to start the season due to suspension. Wright's 2018 season began with a 15-game suspension for violating the MLB's domestic violence policy following an arrest in December 2017 for domestic assault against his wife.