Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez is speaking out against Major League Baseball’s drug testing program, claiming there is nothing “random” about it.
Gomez made his comments in Spanish following a test by MLB on Tuesday, three days after he was activated from the disabled list. He told the Tampa Bay Times in separate comments Tuesday that it was the sixth or seventh time he has been tested in the first nine weeks of this season.
“They tell you that it’s random, that they do the tests randomly and those players who go out there, go and do a drug test,” he said in the video posted on the Twitter page of journalist Hector Gomez, which was translated by ESPN Deportes. “Until they prove to me that it is random, I will not believe it. Because for me, it’s not random. They go and choose the person they want. It’s not random. If it’s not that, show it to me.
“I have the greatest luck on my team, because they test me more than everyone else. I arrived now, three days after coming from the disabled list, and they are already testing me again.”
Gomez, 32, has been outspoken about MLB’s drug-testing program this month, telling Yahoo! Sports in a podcast interview the day after Robinson Cano was suspended that the league targets older players and Latino players for testing.
MLB defended its testing procedures in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.
“Our Joint Drug Program, which is negotiated with the Players Association, is independently administered and has random testing procedures in place with no regard for a player’s birthplace, age, or any other factor,” the league said. “Every aspect of the test selection process is randomized and de-identified, and every player is included each time random selection is conducted.
“This results in some players being tested more often than others, but, as a whole, MLB players are tested more frequently than any athletes in professional sports.”
Cano, the Seattle Mariners‘ All-Star second baseman, was suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s drug policy. Cano tested positive for the diuretic furosemide. Under MLB’s drug policy, a player is not automatically suspended for use of a diuretic unless MLB can prove he intended to use it as a masking agent.
He is one of three major league players suspended this season for violating the drug policy, along with Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo and Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco. All three players are from the Dominican Republic.
Gomez, a two-time All-Star who also hails from the Dominican Republic, has never tested positive for drugs in his 12-season career.
“I am not afraid. Do all the tests that you want. Keep doing it to me,” Gomez said. “But I say it clearly, it’s not random, because it’s not. And I’m not going to keep quiet, because I’ve earned my position here.”