Jenrry Mejia was supposed to be banned from MLB for life after failing three drug tests, but his road back to the majors has cleared up.
On Feb. 12, 2016, it was announced that Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia would be face a permanent suspension under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program after his third positive drug test for performance-enhancing drugs, this one for the anabolic steroid Boldenone.
Mejia’s first failed test and the subsequent 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol were announced on April 11, 2015. On July 28, 2015, while Mejia was serving the 80-game suspension, it was announced that he tested positive for Stanozolol and Boldenone and he would face a 162-game suspension.
Despite becoming the first player in MLB history to be given a lifetime ban for repeated PED—a rule that was instituted in 2013—Mejia will have a chance to get back to the majors, as it was announced Friday that he was granted conditional reinstatement.
“Under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Program, a permanently suspended player like Mr. Mejia has the right to apply to me for discretionary reinstatement after serving a minimum of two years,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Upon receiving Mr. Mejia’s application for reinstatement last year, I invited him to New York to meet with me. During our meeting, Mr. Mejia expressed regret for poor choices he made in the past and assured me that, if reinstated, he would adhere to the terms of the Program going forward. In light of Mr. Mejia’s contrition, his commitment to comply with the Program in the future, and the fact that he will have already spent almost four consecutive years suspended without pay, I have decided to grant Mr. Mejia a final chance to resume his professional career.”
Mejia will be allowed to participate in non-public workouts at Mets’ facilities starting after the All-Star break, and he will be eligible for a rehab assignment starting in mid-August. As long as Mejia complies with an unspecified set of conditions that will be established by the commissioner’s office and agreed upon by Mejia and the MLPA, the righthander will be reinstated from the Restricted List and allowed to take part in all baseball activities for the start of spring training in 2019.
This past offseason, Mejia and the Mets agreed on a one-year, $1.73 million contract as a formality because he will not see the money due to the suspension.
The Mets issued a statement in regards to Mejia’s reinstatement and said they “will evaluate his progress on the field and assess the situation and our options in the coming months.”
Mejia also issued a statement in which he said he looks “forward to earning back the trust and respect of the New York Mets, the fans and especially my teammates.”
The Mets named Mejia their closer in 2014, but he lost the job after his first suspension. Mejia pitched for New York from 2010 to 2015, spending part of that time in the minor leagues and recovering from Tommy John surgery. In five seasons with the Mets, he posted a 3.68 ERA and 28 saves in 183 1/3 innings.