Toronto Blue Jays infielder gets 80-game drug suspension 2 days after major league debut

Orelvis Martínez has been suspended following a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Clomiphene.

Orelvis Martinez
Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Orelvis Martinez of Toronto Blue Jays looks on before play starts against the Boston Red Sox in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 18, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Toronto Blue Jays infielder Orelvis Martínez was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball on Sunday following a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Clomiphene, an announcement made two days after his major league debut.

Martínez, 22, has been on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster since November 2022. He went 1 for 3 with a strikeout on Friday at Cleveland.

“Orelvis was upset, disappointed and pretty honest for a young kid when he told us,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said before the team's finale against the Guardians. “He's obviously humbled and knows he made a mistake. We're going to support him through the process.”

Martínez is eligible to return for the final six games of the regular season but is ineligible for any postseason games this year. He issued a statement apologizing to the Blue Jays and their fans.

“For the past two years, I have been trying to start a family with my girlfriend. During the offseason, we visited a fertility clinic in the Dominican Republic and after getting lab work done, we were prescribed a treatment, which included a medication called Rejun 50,” Martínez said in a statement released by the players' association.

“Unfortunately, Rejun 50 contains a banned substance called Clomiphene. We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs. Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA. With that said, I took full responsibility for my actions and accepted my suspension.”

Martínez signed with Toronto in July 2018 for a $3.51 million bonus and climbed his way up the Blue Jays' minor league system. He hit .260 with 16 homers, 46 RBIs and an .867 OPS in 63 games this season at Triple-A Buffalo.

“He was unaware the substance was banned, but obviously, it's a big mistake,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in the visiting dugout at Progressive Field. “We're obviously extremely disappointed and very surprised.”

Martínez will lose about half his salary. His contract calls for $740,000 while in the major leagues and $120,600 while in the minors, both the minimum.

“I will learn from this experience and come back to the field in September," Martínez said.

He became the eighth player penalized for performance-enhancing drugs this year, the second under the major league program. Noelvi Marté, a 22-year-old infielder who is the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect, was suspended for the first 80 games of the season under the major league program following a positive test for Boldenone.

Five players have been suspended under the minor league program and one under MLB’s new drug program for minor league players assigned outside the United States and Canada.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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