Major League Baseball suspended Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd for 162 games on Wednesday for taking a banned substance.
Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Jenrry Mejia (now banned for life) of the New York Mets both received 162-game suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs in the past. The drug Byrd tested positive for releases growth hormone.
Byrd, who blames a “tainted supplement,” released this statement through the players association:
Today, I have accepted a one-year suspension by Major League Baseball. Recently, I was notified that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, a peptide prohibited by the JDA. In 2012, I tested positive for the medication Tamoxifen, which I was using on the advice of a physician for a medical condition resulting from surgery, and I accepted my suspension without challenge. Since that time, I have paid close attention to the substances that are banned by the Joint Drug Agreement, as I had no intention of taking any banned substances. I relied upon a medical professional for assistance and advice with respect to the supplements that I was taking. However, certain supplements I was taking were not on the NSF Certified for Sport list, and therefore, I assumed certain risks in taking them. When I learned that I had tested positive for Ipamorelin, I retained the services of private counsel and an independent chemist to determine the origin of the Ipamorelin test result because I never knowingly ingested Ipamorelin. After an extensive investigation by my lawyers and an independent chemist, it was concluded that the most likely source of Ipamorelin was a tainted supplement. I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and therefore, I have decided to forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension. I apologize for any harm this has caused the Cleveland Indians, Indians’ fans, my teammates and most importantly, my family.
The 15-year veteran enjoyed a solid season until this point, hitting .270, knocking in 19 runs, and homering five times. At 38, the outfielder may need to look for a new career.