Sunday July 14th, 2024 10:59PM

Blue Jays' Orelvis Martínez gets 80-game drug suspension, 2 days after his major league debut

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays infielder Orelvis Martínez was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball on Sunday following a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Clomiphene, an announcement made two days after his major league debut.

Martínez, 22, has been on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster since November 2022. He went 1 for 3 with a strikeout on Friday at Cleveland.

He issued a statement apologizing to the Blue Jays and their fans.

“For the past two years, I have been trying to start a family with my girlfriend. During the offseason, we visited a fertility clinic in the Dominican Republic and after getting lab work done, we were prescribed a treatment, which included a medication called Rejun 50,” Martínez said in a statement released by the players' association.

“Unfortunately, Rejun 50 contains a banned substance called Clomiphene. We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs. Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA. With that said, I took full responsibility for my actions and accepted my suspension.”

Martínez signed with Toronto in July 2018 for a $3.51 million bonus and climbed his way up the Blue Jays' minor league system. He hit .260 with 16 homers, 46 RBIs and an .867 OPS in 63 games this season at Triple-A Buffalo.

“The Blue Jays fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, and strongly believe in keeping the game on a level playing field.

“We were both surprised and disappointed to learn of Orelvis Martínez suspension,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. “We will do everything in our power to ensure Orelvis has learned from this mistake.”

Martínez will lose about half his salary. His contract calls for $740,000 while in the major leagues and $120,600 while in the minors, both the minimum.

“I will learn from this experience and come back to the field in September," Martínez said.

He became the eighth player penalized for performance-enhancing drugs this year, the second under the major league program. Noelvi Marté, a 22-year-old infielder who is the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect, was suspended for the first 80 games of the season under the major league program following a positive test for Boldenone.

Five players have been suspended under the minor league program and one under MLB’s new drug program for minor league players assigned outside the United States and Canada.



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