Red Sox's Steven Wright banned 80 games for PEDs

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Steven Wright pitches against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Sept. 29 2018. Bob De Chiara  USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Steven Wright pitches against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Sept. 29 2018. Bob De Chiara USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be sitting on the sidelines at the start of the upcoming Major League Baseball regular season after receiving an 80-game suspension following a positive drug test, officials said Wednesday.

Major League Baseball said Wright tested positive for growth-hormone-releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2).

"While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time", the Red Sox announced in a statement. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter. Wright's positive test violates the MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He'll be eligible to return in late June, but he will not be eligible to pitch in the postseason this year. "People close to me know I wouldn't intentionally do this", Wright said. "I have fully cooperated with Major League Baseball and will continue to try and identify the source of the result".

Wright now is working his way back from a knee injury that cost him most of the 2018 season.

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In January, he and the Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract for $1,375,000, a raise of $275,000, in a deal that avoided arbitration. He suffered a setback in the postseason and had another surgery on the knee after the season. Wright, a knuckleballer, worked to a stellar 2.68 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings of relief last season, though his season was shortened not only by the aforementioned domestic violence suspension but also a pair of DL stints pertaining to inflammation in his left knee. Wright, a six-year MLB veteran, was an American League All-Star in 2016.

Wright said he could not prove it was unintentional, so he accepted the suspension. In December of 2017, Wright was arrested for domestic abuse following an incident with his wife at their Tennessee home.

A thin Red Sox bullpen just got thinner. The rejection of his appeal became official last night.

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