Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. He won't be able to join the Red Sox until Game 81, scheduled for June 24, and he will not be eligible for the postseason.
In a statement Wednesday, the Red Sox said they "fully support" MLB's drug policies and "efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from the game". Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter.
The test result goes against the league's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and as a result, Wright will be suspended without pay, according to the website.
"Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked, as I have never intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes", Wright said. Wright did not appear in the postseason, when the Red Sox won their fourth World Series since 2004, and he had surgery on his left knee November 12. What's worse, after losing Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel, a weak Red Sox bullpen appears even worse now. He's missed large portions of the past two seasons due to the left knee injuries.
The 34-year-old right-hander recorded a 2.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and 26 walks across 52 2/3 innings over 20 appearances (four starts) last season.
This is the second straight season in which Wright will be suspended by Major League Baseball.
Wright was arrested on December 8, 2017, at his home outside Nashville, Tennessee, and charged with domestic related assault and prevention of a 911 call, both misdemeanors.
In a statement, Wright didn't question the finding, but said he's unsure what tripped the positive test. The rejection of his appeal became official last night.