In what has pretty much become an annual amount, another major league baseball player has been discovered to be abusing performance-enhancing drugs and has received in 80 game suspension without pay because of it.
As most people that follow the sport are well aware, major league baseball does not play along when it comes to performance-enhancing drug abuse or those that try to cover performance-enhancing drug usage. In the summer of 1999, baseball was brought back to the forefront of the American popular culture thanks to juiced up baseball players like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as they fought to break the single-season home run record, but those players look like cartoon characters with muscles much longer than any normal human could have ever produced all on their own.
Baseball – prodded by investigations kicked off by the U.S. Congress – decided to crack down significantly on performance-enhancing drugs and steroids. José Canseco, a serial steroid abuser and former player for multiple teams in the MLB turned whistleblower, and from then on the MLB has done absolutely everything and anything can do to promote as clean a game as possible – including going after some of their biggest stars.
Now, Houston Astro’s picture David Paulino is certainly not one of the biggest stars in the game – not the way that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez were – but this just shows just how serious the MLB takes these kinds of cheating allegations and any attempts at all to subvert getting caught with performance-enhancing drugs in your system.
A 6’7”, 215 pound relief pitcher, Paulino tested positive for an anabolic steroid Boldenone (Equipoise) in a recent anti-doping test. This positive test was verified with a “B sample” and the results were conclusive, which immediately triggered in automatic and on appealable suspension for 80 games without pay as a first-time violation of the performance-enhancing drug policy the MLB already has in place.
While the Houston Astro’s general manager and manager both expressed real disappointment for the actions of Paulino, they also went on to praise the fact that this Dominican born pitcher immediately owned up to the fact that he had done something wrong, refused to appeal the tests during the open appeal process, and promised to come back to the game even better than before while playing 100% clean.
The general manager in the manager of this MLB club also make sure to express that Paulino would have the opportunity to compete for his job once again as soon as he got back from suspension, somewhere in the middle of the year. Enabling that Paulino can be a big piece of their success, and as the best team in baseball right now they are definitely looking to take full advantage of everything that Paulino brings to their bullpen especially when the playoffs are in full swing.
Everyone in the Houston Astros organization has been incredibly positive about this turn of even though they understand it is going to hurt them in the short term. Many of the teammates of Paulino have already spoken up about the support that they have for Paulino, and that they are going to be right there waiting to pick him up from this downtime just as soon as he is ready to rock ‘n roll once again.
At just 23 years old and already one of the new dominant forces in a truly dominant Houston bullpen, it certainly looks like Paulino is going to be able to bounce back from this suspension and have an opportunity to build a long-term career in the big leagues. Of course, should he get caught for PED’s again in the future that’s an automatic full-year band – and any other positive tests from then on out could get even worse from there.