On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended Andrew McKirahan, left-handed reliever for the Atlanta Braves, for 80 games without pay for testing positive for Ipamorelin, a growth-hormone releasing peptide.
Released by the Miami Marlins in spring training, McKirahan signed with the Braves. He pitched only 4 1/3 innings for Atlanta this year, giving up two runs and recording one hold.
McKirahan’s suspension was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox News:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 20, 2015
McKirahan joins four other pitchers hit with suspensions from MLB in the last month, including Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins, Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets, David Rollins of the Seattle Mariners, and fellow Braves pitcher Arodys Vizcaino, all of whom were suspended for 80 games for using Stanozolol.
In addition to his suspension, McKirahan will have career-long supervision, with six unannounced urine drug tests and three unannounced blood collections every year he pitches in the majors. He also has been docked roughly $222,000 of his $507,500 league-minimum salary.
Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said, “We are disappointed in the decision Andrew made. We are disappointed for him and for the ballclub. This was a guy who was beginning to pitch meaningful innings for us. The guys have been grinding. This was not good for the club.”
MLB and the players association reached a deal earlier this year to stiffen punishments for players failing drug tests and to increase testing for players. The new standards call for an 80-game suspension for a first offense, as opposed to the previous 50-game suspension. The second time a player violates the ban on drugs he would incur a 162-game suspension, and a third violation would trigger a lifetime ban.