May 31, 2018 / 10:22 AM / 20 days ago

Rays' veteran outfielder Gomez says MLB drug testing isn't random

Tampa Bay Rays veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez believes Major League Baseball’s drug testing is far from random, instead targeting older Latino players.

May 12, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Carlos Gomez (27) catches Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo (not pictured) fly ball during the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore Orioles defeated Tampa Bay Rays 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Gomez initially made such a comment on a Yahoo Sports podcast two weeks ago after Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s drug policy. Gomez sought out a Tampa Bay Times reporter Tuesday to double down on his beliefs, the newspaper noted.

“It’s not random. They pick names. Tell the truth. Tell the truth to the baseball world,” Gomez said. “You’re going to tell me this is random? It’s not 1930 anymore. People know.

“You can come any time; I’m available to do a drug test. But don’t tell people it’s random. That’s the only complaint that I have. ...

“I have plenty of pee and plenty of blood. But don’t say that’s random, because it’s not. So, tell the truth. It doesn’t cost nothing.”

Gomez was tested Tuesday, telling the newspaper that it was the sixth or seventh time he’s been tested in the first nine weeks of this season.

“I’m not mad,” he said. “I’m not upset. I just want the right answer. Why can’t they tell us this is not random. Why is that complicated? I’m going to continue to say this is not random until they show us (differently).”

For its part, MLB justified its testing procedures in a statement to the Times on Wednesday.

“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.”

Gomez replied, “We want to know, who knows how they pick the guys? Does anybody know? It’s not about the drug test, it’s about how they do it. We need to know. ... It’s my right.”

Gomez, 32, hails from the Dominican Republic, as does Cano, 35. Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo, 31, was suspended for PEDs last week, and Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco, 24, received an 80-game ban during spring training. Castillo and Polanco are also from the Dominican Republic.

Gomez has hit .195 with six home runs and 12 RBIs in 41 games this season entering play Wednesday. He has never tested positive for drugs in his 12-year major league career.

—Field Level Media

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