Jenrry Mejia’s Lawyer and M.L.B. Trade Charges Over Doping Ban

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Jenrry Mejia said in an interview last week that he was guilty only of the first doping offense.

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Christopher Gregory for The New York Times

A lawyer representing Jenrry Mejia, the Mets pitcher who was permanently barred from Major League Baseball for failing three drug tests, said Friday that baseball used unscrupulous tactics in its handling of his doping offenses.

The lawyer, Vincent White, referred in vague terms to various ways he believed M.L.B.’s inquiry into Mejia was corrupt. Speaking at a news conference at his Queens law firm, he refused to provide details or any form of substantiation for his claims.

M.L.B. rejected White’s accusations in a statement.

“Sadly, the comments made by Mr. Mejia and his representatives today continue a pattern of athletes hiring aggressive lawyers and making wild, unsupported allegations about the conduct of others in an effort to clear their names,” the statement said. “Mr. Mejia’s record demonstrates that he was a repeated user of banned performance-enhancing substances. As such, per our collectively bargained rules, he has no place as an active player in the game today.”

White said Mejia would challenge baseball’s sanctions. M.L.B.’s drug-testing program, which is jointly administered with the players’ union, caught Mejia using anabolic steroids three times. He was penalized twice in 2015, then received the permanent suspension last month.

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Mejia, 26, said in an interview last week that he was guilty only of the first doping offense. After the second positive test, which Mejia said was inaccurate, he was pressured by M.L.B. officials to share information about his doping connections, he said.

Mejia said that baseball officials told him that if he appealed the suspension for the second doping offense, “they will find a way to find a third positive.”

Mejia, who is from the Dominican Republic, said through an interpreter: “I felt there was a conspiracy against me. I feel that they were trying to find something to bring me down in my career.”

Baseball officials denied making any such threats.

“As we have said before, no representatives of Major League Baseball met or spoke with Jenrry Mejia regarding any of his drug violations,” M.L.B.’s statement said on Friday. “In fact, M.L.B. coordinates all 40-man roster player interviews with the M.L.B.P.A.” — the Major League Baseball Players Association — “and they are present at the interview as the player’s union representative.”

The players’ union and Mejia’s agent, Peter Greenberg, have not publicly commented on Mejia’s case, citing confidentiality provisions in baseball’s drug-testing policy.

Baseball’s antidoping protocols allow for Mejia to apply for reinstatement after a year, in 2017. But the minimum penalty is two years so Mejia would not be eligible to play again until 2018.

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