BOSTON (CBS) — Major League Baseball has suspended Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright for 80 games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Wright tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2, the league announced on Wednesday.
Wright will now be forced to sit out the first half of the 2019 season, freeing up a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster. He is also now ineligible for the 2019 postseason.
“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,” the Red Sox said in a statement following Wright’s suspension. “Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter.”
Wright told reporters that he didn’t willingly take a performance-enhancing drug, but can’t prove that it was unintentional so he accepts the suspension.
The 34-year-old has spent parts of six seasons with the Red Sox, going 24-15 with a 3.77 ERA over 75 games (including 44 starts). His best season as a pro came in 2016 when he spent the entire season in the Boston rotation and went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA, earning the knuckleballer a spot on the AL All-Star squad.