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Jays first-rounder Marcus Stroman explains 50-game ban

Aug 28, 2012, 5:58 PM EDT

Marcus Stroman Getty Images

Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who was selected 22nd overall in the 2012 MLB draft, was banned 50 games after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine today. He issued a release afterwards:

Despite taking precautions to avoid violating the minor league testing program, I unknowingly ingested a banned stimulant that was in an over-the-counter supplement. Nonetheless, I accept full responsibility and I want to apologize to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, my family, my teammates, and the Blue Jays fans everywhere. I look forward to putting this behind me and rejoining my teammates.

Stroman, who went to Duke, was viewed as one of the most advanced players in the draft, someone who could help a team out of the bullpen in the very near future. However, the 50-game ban will push back his timetable, since he won’t get back on the mound until next May. The 21-year-old right-hander had a 3.26 ERA and a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings out of the pen between SS Single-A Vancouver and Double-A New Hampshire this season.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I think that a lot of his bonus money should be placed in escrow until he stays clean for 3 yars.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      On a different thread, someone wrote that he was suspended for nasal spray. If so, something is wrong with MLB .

      • notsofast10 - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        He Said,”I unknowingly ingested a banned stimulant that was in an over-the-counter supplement.”

        “nasal spray” would not be considered a supplement.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM

        MHA was orinally marketed as a nasal decongestant. It’s now primarily found in supplements. Also called geranium extract or DMAA.

      • bluburt - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        Isn’t benydryl he main ingredient in meth…?

      • bluburt - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        Or maybe it is Sudafed…

  2. missthemexpos - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    The way things have been going for the Blue Jays this year, the only thing left to happen is for structural problems to force the closure of the Rogers Skydome.

    • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      No kidding. If you happen to be a Jays pitcher, demand a trade immediately. They are getting to be like Spinal Tap drummers.

      Keeping with the Tap theme, this guy tried to go to 11.

      • jaysjunkie - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        LMAO @ “getting to be like Spinal Tap drummers”. Perfect analogy!

      • Reflex - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        It was noted two years ago by several that the Jays have been purposefully targeting inverted W pitchers, likely because other teams are starting to value them less. At the time the question was whether or not they were taking a chance that the emerging theory about the elbow/shoulder strain that motion causes was incorrect, or if it was a cynical ploy to grab those guys and use them while they had value and let others deal with the wreckage later(ie: avoid long term contracts).

        No idea which it was, but it does not seem to be a strategy that has paid off. A few years ago they had what most considered a promising young batch of pitchers, led by the Drabek acquisition (also a W pitcher). Now its just a bunch of wrecked young arms.


      • hittfamily - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:02 AM

        Reflex, I have seen a few articles about this, but no solid evidence. Are you aware of a good article/list? This is starting to seem legit, but a good article with more than a few flame outs is hard to find.


      • Reflex - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        That is one about the Jays specifically. I tend to point people at O’Leary in general as he does not shy away from making predictions when they are drafted as opposed to after the fact looking for whether a pitcher fits the profile. His predictions seem fairly accurate, he called the Strasburg injury almost perfectly, for instance, as well as pointing out that Lincecum’s motion was not as bad as a lot were claiming.

        BTW, the Nats are another team that seems to be drafting and trading for pitchers with this issue, and the Cards seem to be actively teaching it. This is why I don’t expect the Nats to be long term contenders, unfortunately.

  3. randygnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Proudly- professional athletes should know, without exception, everything they put into their bodies. The reason that otherwise benign products are included on the list of banned substances is so they can’t be used for cover for those that are willfully doping. This is the argue,ent used for zero tolerance.

  4. hammyofdoom - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I honestly do wonder how much of this stuff is the poppy seed effect: looking for heroin, but a poppy seed muffin sets off the test. Sure there are players banned for amphetamines, testosterone, HGH, cocaine and such, but I wonder how many get banned for nasal sprays, supplements, things of that nature. I’d love to see what is actually ON the banned substance list

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      I just looked quick at Methylhexaneamine, it can be used as: a nasal decongestant, dietary supplement to be used with caffeine, be used as a stimulant OR as a key ingredient in new designer party drugs.

      That got serious very quickly…

  5. randygnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Hammy- I heard the poppy seed positives are just a myth. I’ve heard it several times but don’t know for sure. I’ve always been curious about this but had read anything definitively.

    • hammyofdoom - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Actually it is true, mythbusters did a test where they ate poppy seed cake and poppy bagels and took the test, and anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours after eating they tested positive. I know they arent the “end all”, but some experts have put false positives on urine tests regarding opioids at as high as 50 percent

      • raysfan1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        Drug screening tests (commonly referred to as the “A” sample) have lots of false positives. Their purpose in a drug testing program is to decrease how many confirmatory tests are done (the “B” sample). For opiates, that confirmatory test is gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry. The false positive rate for GC/MS is zero. GC/MS positive samples have the opiates present, period.

        The sample following consuming excessively large quantities of poppy seeds is also not a false positive as poppy seeds have opium in them.

      • Reflex - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM

        My significant other ran into this when she was in the junior olympics for fencing. One of the teams from another state had poppy seed muffins and tested positive, got completely disqualified. They were crushed, and she felt bad about it.

        Definitely not a myth.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      It is possible to test positive for opiates with poppy seeds. However, it takes 6 or more of the large Otis Spunkmeyer lemon poppyseed muffins consumed in one sitting. If a person can do that, they have bigger issues than maybe having a urine drug test within a few hours.

      • Reflex - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM

        Or they are an athelete with a large appetite as a result.

  6. goawaydog - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Can he go play anywhere? Winter league in the Domincan Rep for example?

  7. nobody78 - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Good, classy reaction on his part. Others should follow suit. The penalty is harsh, but for reasons randygnyc points out, it’s necessary. No stigma should hang one his career.

  8. hpt150 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    MLB should oversee manufacture of all the supplements it deems ok. No more not knowing who took what. All proceeds go to MLB team charities. Everyone wins.

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    I think all jays prospects should be taking something cause they are all terrible once they hit the big leagues anyway so might as well try something

    • Reflex - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      Is it true that they all ran a train on your mother? Thats what I heard…

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