Article

Banned pitcher Mejia cleared to return to MLB in 2019

July 7 2018 4:53 AM

New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, who was permanently suspended by MLB in 2016 for his third positive performance-enhancing drug test, has been cleared to play again in 2019.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in 2016 Mejia would be given fair consideration for reinstatement after his permanent suspension and he kept true to his word.

"Under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Program, a permanently suspended player like Mr. Mejia has the right to apply to me for discretionary reinstatement after serving a minimum of two years," Manfred said in a release.

"Upon receiving Mr. Mejia's application for reinstatement last year, I invited him to New York to meet with me. During our meeting, Mr. Mejia expressed regret for poor choices he made in the past and assured me that, if reinstated, he would adhere to the terms of the Program going forward. In light of Mr. Mejia's contrition, his commitment to comply with the Program in the future, and the fact that he will have already spent almost four consecutive years suspended without pay, I have decided to grant Mr. Mejia a final chance to resume his professional career."

Mejia has not pitched in a game since 2015, but saved 28 games in 93.2 innings for the Mets in 2014.

The 28-year-old released a statement via the MLB Players Association when the news broke on Friday.

"I've had a long difficult time away from the game to contemplate the mistakes I've made both with regard to my positive drug tests and also the the false allegations I made about Major League Baseball's investigation into my testing history. Baseball is my profession, my passion and my life, and for those mistakes I am truly sorry," Mejia said.

"I would like to thank Commissioner Manfred for my reinstatement. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout this difficult period.

"I have much work ahead, but look forward to earning back the trust and respect of the New York Mets, the fans and especially my team-mates."

Mejia has been suspended for the better part of four years without pay, but according to Spotrac, he remains under contract with the Mets although it runs out after this season. It remains to be seen where he will play, if a team sign him.

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