Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez just returned to the team this week after spending time on the disabled list and, as a welcome back present, he was tested by the league under the drug policy. Gomez has responded by continuing to speak out against the league’s testing policy saying that it isn’t ‘random’.
In a video on ESPN’s Pedro Gomez’s Twitter account, he reiterated his stance that the league’s testing isn’t random. The video is in Spanish, but ESPN Deportes translated it.
“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,” Gomez said. “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.”
The comments to ESPN come on the heels of Gomez appearing on Jeff Passan’s MLB Podcast on Yahoo! Sports, and making similar comments. In addition, Gomez told Yahoo! that he believes the league’s testing targets older players and Latin ones.
“Our interview with Gomez took place the day after Cano’s suspension was announced, which is part of the reason Gomez — who like Cano is from the Dominican Republic — opened up about drug testing.
“Last night was difficult for me to sleep. I was thinking about that,” Gomez said. “That guy has a career that’s Hall of Fame right now. And that’s going to follow him. For 15 years that guy’s been tested and clean every single time. Now they’re gonna have that black tar on his life. ‘Oh, you tested positive.’ ”
Gomez said he feels like two groups of players are targeted for drug tests: Older players and Latin players. Gomez, 32, said he and Rays teammates Sergio Romo (35) and Denard Span (34) have been tested frequently this season.”
The league, for its part, gave a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, with the following:
“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.”