Major League Baseball has suspended Kansas City Royals infielder Miguel Tejada a total of 105 games for a pair of failed drug tests. Both tests showed the presence of a banned amphetamine, Adderall, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. USA Today’s Bob Nigtengale also reports that Tejada has already appealed the suspension and lost. All signs would appear to indicate that Tejada’s career could very well be over.
The league’s policy over amphetamines differs in terms of suspension length than the PED policies we’re much more familiar with. Therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) are far more common under the area of the collective bargaining agreement, depending on the nature of the reasoning. 114 players received TUEs last season for attention deficit disorder (ADD) last season, according to Passan. Adderall is commonly prescribed in such circumstances. Tejada reportedly had a TUE at one point in the past, but it had expired and the league would not grant him any leniency during his appeal.
With a previous failing test under his belt, Tejada was subjected to an increased frequency in testing and ultimately failed a second test earlier this season which triggered a 25 game suspension. While appealing that decision a third failed test occurred, adding another 80 games to his pending suspension for a grand total of 105. This marks the third longest non-lifetime ban in MLB history, following the 211 game suspension levied onto Alex Rodriguez in recent weeks and the 119 game ban that Steve Howe received in 1992 (h/t to Passan for that tidbit).
Tejada will begin the suspension immediately. He’ll miss the final 41 games of the 2013 season for the Royals, though he’d of likely missed them anyways after landing on the 60-day DL just this past week with a calf injury. He’s set to become a free agent this winter and would have to sit out the first 64 games of the 2014 season if he does end up signing somewhere. Sources close to Tejada already suggest that he may opt to retire, rather than come back and have to sit out for such a lengthy period. At 39 years of age, with an injury and suspension history, walking away might make the most sense for Tejada.
He’d joined the Royals on a one year deal this past December, after having not played in the Major Leagues since the 2011 season. In 167 PA he hit .288/.317/.378 with just 8 extra base hits. Over the course of his career, Tejada batted .285/.336/.456 with 307 HR and an MVP Award (2002) under his belt.