Miguel Tejada has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 105 games for testing positive for Adderall, an amphetamine. The suspension had been rumored for a few days, first by Kevin Kietzman of 810 WHB, but nothing had been announced until today. The suspension is the third longest for PED usage in baseball history.
Tejada hit .288/.317/.378 for the Royals in 53 games for the Royals and up until a calf injury put him on the disabled list. The Royals moved him to the 60 day DL and now it seems he’s reached the end of his career.
Tejada has already weathered controversy before. He’s admitted to lying about his age and was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report and received a year of probation for lying to Congress about purchasing steroids. Reports say that Tejada was nailed on two positive tests for Adderall, earning him a suspension of 25 games for the first one and 80 for the second.
In a statement, Tejada said he had continued to use the stimulant while re-applying for a therapeutic use exemption from MLB, which the league will hand out if a player has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (for which the drug is commonly prescribed). Kietzman had previously written that Tejada had an exemption, but that it had expired April 15. Still using without that exemption is a violation. There are conflicting reports about whether or not Tejada appealed his suspension, but the end result is the same – he’s going to miss the rest of this season and part of 2014 if he doesn’t retire. There are strong sources suggesting he’s going to retire in light of this news.
As part of the league’s increased vigilance towards PED usage, amphetamines are now being acknowledged in the game after decades of indifference. They started leaning towards testing at the end of 2005 and a player using stimulants are just as likely to be caught and punished as a steroid user. They’ve been one of the worst kept secrets in baseball since Jim Bouton‘s book Ball Four came out in 1970, when references to “greenies” popped up about every few pages.
I’m less inclined personally to get worked up over a drug that is legally prescribed to millions than I am about steroids, but a violation is a violation, so maybe it’s right to take back my apology to Tejada from earlier this month. I didn’t think he would contribute and was pleasantly surprised when he did, but doing so while knowingly violating the rules doesn’t really work for me.