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#pounditSaturday, December 5, 2020

Jenrry Mejia blames ‘conspiracy’ for lifetime MLB doping ban

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Former Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has accused Major League Baseball as engaging in a witch hunt against him that culminated in his lifetime ban after a third failed doping test.

Mejia, speaking to Ben Berkon of the New York Times through a translator in his first public comments since the ban, claimed that he was the victim of a “conspiracy” and blamed the MLBPA for not helping him enough.

Mejia claimed that he was only guilty of the first offense, and that MLB basically set him up the second and third time. He claimed that he was pressured to give the league information about his connections after the second failed test, and claims that league officials told him that they’d find a way to nail him with a third positive if he tried to appeal.

“I felt there was a conspiracy against me,” Mejia said. “I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”

Mejia also accused the MLB Players Union for not doing enough to defend him.

“The association should have done more,” Mejia said. “[They] should have been there to defend me — because that’s what they’re there for. They should have found something to appeal for.”

A league spokesperson denied that league officials ever contacted Mejia about any of his failed tests.

It’s hard to take Mejia seriously here. Why would the league fabricate two failed tests to take out a 26-year-old relief pitcher with one full MLB season to his name? Why make him the fall guy? Alex Rodriguez also claimed to be the subject of a league witch hunt, and while that’s almost certainly out there, at least A-Rod makes sense as the type of guy that MLB would want to make an example of if they were looking for a fall guy. Jenrry Mejia doesn’t. Perhaps this is simply a young man who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that his career is essentially finished.

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