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MLB

Are Dominican MLB Players Being Tested More Frequently Than Others?

Carlos Gomez says he gets drug tested more frequently than other players and hes not feeling it.

SB Nation on Twitter

Carlos Gomez has some strong thoughts on the way the league drug tests players.

Gomez, a popular player from the Dominican Republic is known for his antagonistic flair, ruthless competitiveness and energy is still sick from the Robinson Cano suspension and how arbitrary and lethal the testing process can be for a star’s legacy.

Yahoo.com interviewed Gomez the day after Canos 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 thats Hall of Fame right now. And thats going to follow him. For 15 years that guys been tested and clean every single time. Now theyre 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.

We know MLB has its demons with handling PEDs. Certain players are protected by MLB and others are targets when it comes to PED use. Its always been that way since the PED-crazed 90s and early 2000s. There are players who we know juiced, that are in the Hall of Fame. There are coaches who presided over the PED Era and were immersed in the stench, who have been lauded and elected to the Hall of Fame.

Ironically, most of these players are white, while the majority of PED offenders in the majors and minors as well as those being kept out of Cooperstown for alleged or proven PED use, appear to be Latino ballplayers (In the words of LL Cool J, Not this time but next time, Ima name names).

Even with the influx of foreign-born players, white players still comprise more than 57 percent of MLB rosters but comprise just two out of the last nine MLB players suspended for PEDs (Josh Ravin, Alec Asher). African-American participation is hovering just below 8 percent but still managed to produce two PED offenders; Marlon Byrd and Dee Gordon. The other five are of Dominican descent (Robinson Cano, Starling Marte, Jorge Polanco, David Paulino, Raul A. Mondesi).

The Shadow League on Twitter

Robinson Cano has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. First reported by @hgomez27.

The numbers dont add up. Either MLB has it out for Dominican players, considers them more prone to use those drugs and therefore tests Dominicans more frequently, resulting in a higher number of failed tests. Or the culture of PED use is so ingrained in Dominican culture that players from that country use it at a much higher rate than American players.

Back in 2013, more than half of the Major League Baseball players suspended for performance-enhancing drug use at one point were from the Dominican Republic – where many PED’s are available over-the-counter. This number has increased in the last half decade.

Michael Farber on Twitter

By my count, of the 56 different players suspended by MLB for PED use since 2005, Robinson Cano is the 20th from the Dominican Republic. This does not include A-Rod or Raul A. Mondesi, both of whom were born in US.

Either way, it’s an interesting study and if Gomez has been tested seven times more than his other teammates, then his personal beef is legit. With little knowledge of how MLB actually conducts these random drug test, its difficult to determine whether or not he is speaking the truth in basically saying MLB is unethical, biased and whimsical in its implementation of the drug policy.

But as a baseball head who also understands the unspoken language and unsubstantiated rumors that persist within the white walls of baseball front offices in attempting to discredit the recent accomplishments of Latin ballplayers in MLB, I wouldn’t be surprised if the league purposely tests certain Latino ballplayers based upon hunches, red flags in previous tests or racially biased profiling.

There were rumors about Gomez when his performance and power spiked in 2012, 2013 and 2014 after five years of hitting single digit homers in the league. Gomez was more guilty by association as a teammate of 2011 MVP Ryan Braun who was suspended for PEDs after using them to capture a 2011 NL MVP award, but hes never failed a test and any rumors have never been substantiated.

The hope would be that the league is treating each player equally, especially those players with no prior failed tests.

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