A few years back, former New York Mets closer Jenrry Mejia was suspended three times for performance-enhancing drugs in the span of 10 months. He was suspended on April 11, 2015, then again on July 28, 2015, and yet again on Feb. 12, 2016. I'd be impressed if it weren't so disappointing.
The third PED test triggered a lifetime ban under the league's joint drug agreement. Lifetime does not necessarily mean forever though. The joint drug agreement allows players to apply for reinstatement after two years, which Mejia did. Last July, commissioner Rob Manfred indeed reinstated Mejia, thus allowing him to play.
"Under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Program, a permanently suspended player like Mr. Mejia has the right to apply to me for discretionary reinstatement after serving a minimum of two years," Manfred said in a statement following Mejia's reinstatement. "Upon receiving Mr. Mejia's application for reinstatement last year, I invited him to New York to meet with me. During our meeting, Mr. Mejia expressed regret for poor choices he made in the past and assured me that, if reinstated, he would adhere to the terms of the Program going forward. In light of Mr. Mejia's contrition, his commitment to comply with the Program in the future, and the fact that he will have already spent almost four consecutive years suspended without pay, I have decided to grant Mr. Mejia a final chance to resume his professional career."
Mejia, who is still only 29, made two minor-league appearances with the Mets following his reinstatement, striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings. New York released him in November and Mejia headed to the Dominican Winter League, where he stuck out 19 and pitched to a 2.54 ERA in eight starts and 28 1/3 innings. Earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox signed him to a minor-league contract.