The Definitive Look At Every Drug Suspension In Baseball For 2016 – Forbes

If there is an area of baseball that is poorly understood, at both the Major League and Minor League level, it’s not pitching or offensive stats. Or for that matter, it’s not around game strategy at all. It is around players suspended under the drug program. Books—many of the them exceptional and popular—have detailed the use of performance-enhancing substances. These books have centered on stars of the game with few looking the system, the types of violations, and how number of suspensions fit within the percentage the total number of tests conducted in a given year.

Pitcher Jenrry Mejia #58, formerly of the New York Mets, was the first player in baseball history banned permanently in 2016 for multiple violations of MLB’s drug policy. He was one of 113 players in the Minors and the Majors that were suspended in 2016.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

To that end, providing details for a given year–each suspension across baseball–gives context that rarely, if ever, is reported. For the first time, you can see all of them for the Minors and Majors (see the end of this article for the listing)

The Raw Numbers That Show Drug Suspension Does Not Equal PED Suspension

Not all drug suspensions are for PEDs; the area that fans most think of. Of the 113 players (100 in the Minor leagues, 13 at the MLB level), 43 of them, or 38% of the total were for either failing to test, or for drug of abuse—substances such as cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, etc. Of the 43, thirteen of them (12 minor league violations, and free agent Taylor Teagarden at the MLB level) were cited as “violations”. The 30 others for drug of abuse were all at the Minor league level.

Raw PED and Stimulant Suspension Numbers

The remaining 70 suspensions in the Minors and Majors for 2016 were as follows:

  • PEDs (Majors) – 12
  • PEDs (Minors) – 39
  • Stimulants (Minors) – 19

For the fan that wishes to cite drug suspensions for substances such as steroids or human-growth hormone (hGH), 51 or 45% of the 113 total were in Minor League and Major League Baseball.

How Many Drug Tests Were Conducted (MLB)


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