Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox suspended 80 games for PEDs
Li Xiang

Knuckleballer Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox was suspended for 80 games on Wednesday after his positive test result for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). According to the league, Wright had growth-hormone-releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2) in his system.

Wright said that it's an off season test and he already appealed. "We couldn't figure out how this substance got into my body. But at the end of the day, it's my responsibility. It falls on me," said Wright. If he cannot prove that he absorbs GHRP-2 unintentionally, the MLB will affirm the original decision.

Wright's suspension will begin from the start of the 2019 season. Meanwhile, since it's about doping, he will also be banned from participating the playoffs.

The Boston Red Sox celebrate with the trophy after they defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in the 2018 World Series, October 27, 2018. /VCG Photo

The Boston Red Sox celebrate with the trophy after they defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in the 2018 World Series, October 27, 2018. /VCG Photo

The Red Sox posted a statement on their official website saying: "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."

Though Wright was selected an All-Star player in 2016, he had some difficult time last season. The left knee surgery he took and the 15-game suspension for domestic violence not only delayed the 2018 season for him, but also affected his performance. He left the field again in June 2018 because of injury and returned in September 2018 right before the playoffs.

Though he has gone 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in four starts, Wright had arthroscopic knee surgery in November 2018 to nip the trouble in the bud. In January, he signed a one-year, 1,375,000 U.S. dollar contract with the Red Sox to avoid arbitration.

Alex Cora, manager of the Red Sox /VCG Photo

Alex Cora, manager of the Red Sox /VCG Photo

However, neither that deal nor his health can help the team if the decision stands. "Obviously disappointed. It's something that we didn't expect. We'll adjust," said Alex Cora, manager of the Red Sox.

Wright's suspension was a hit to the bullpen of the defending champions, who already lost closer Craig Kimbrel and flamethrower Joe Kelly to free agency. Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations already made it clear in February that they did not have much extra money to invest in closers. Therefore, the Red Sox might choose from Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes and Tyler Thornburg for this role.