Wall Street Journal writer Jared Diamond and MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reported around the same time this morning that Washington Nationals’ catcher Tres Barrera has received an 80-game suspension after a positive test for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing drug.
Barrera, 25, as Zuckerman noted, is only the second, “player on the Nationals’ 40-man roster to ... be suspended for a positive PED test since MLB began [their testing] program in 2005,” following a positive test and suspension for catcher Raudy Read in 2018.
Barrera, who said he has never knowingly used a banned substance, released the following statement through the MLB Players Association after an independent arbitrator upheld the suspension:
The Major League Baseball Players Association today released the following statement on behalf of Tres Barrera: pic.twitter.com/RRv6UhTg9x— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) July 25, 2020
“After conducting an appeal process, I am saddened to confirm that I have failed a test under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement for DHCMT, and the arbitrator has decided to uphold the suspension. From the initial failed test to losing the appeal, this all has come as a complete surprise as I have never, and will never knowingly use a banned substance. I have worked too hard and given too much to this sport to disrespect and cheat the game that I love. I would never do anything to dishonor my family, teammates, and coaches, or do anything to let down the many young ball players that look up to me.
“I apologize to the Nationals’ organization, my teammates, fans, and my family, for the negative attention this has brought. I will continue to work to find answers to the many questions that remain surrounding this drug to clear my name but most importantly to prevent this from happening to anyone else. I look forward to returning to baseball and contributing to the team alongside my brothers.”
Barrera, a 2016 6th Round draft pick out of the University of Texas at Austin (TX), made his MLB debut in 2019, playing two games for the eventual World Series champs.
In 101 games and 403 plate appearances at Double-A Harrisburg last season, the catcher put up a .249/.323/.381 line with 23 doubles and eight home runs.