Major League Baseball suspended Tres Barrera after he tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol.
Tres Barrera, a 25-year old professional baseball catcher with the Washington Nationals, has tested positive for trace quantities of metabolites resulting from the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol. Oral Turinabol is known by its chemical name of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT).
Major League Baseball (MLB) has suspended Barrera for 80 games without pay as the penalty for a first-time violation of of the MLB-MLBPA Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Barrera unsuccessfully appealed the sanction.
Tres Barrera denied knowingly consuming the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol.
Barrera vehemently denied doing anything wrong. He insisted that he never knowingly ingest, injected, or otherwise consumed any type of anabolic steroid or other banned performance-enhancing drug (PED). Barrera claimed he never heard of Turinabol before he tested positive.
“From the initial failed drug 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,” Barrera said in a statement.
Barrera was not willing to accept the 80-game suspension without putting up a fight. He retained legal counsel and filed a complaint naming the MLB and MLB Commissioner’s Office. The complaint also named the directors of the WADS-accredited laboratories in Salt Lake City (Daniel Eichner) and Montreal who performed the analytical testing of his samples.
Barrera argued that it is possible that the DHCMT metabolites entered his system years ago when he used over-the-counter supplements as a high school and college student. The MLB-MLBPA drug program does not penalize athletes for substance use that occurred before the start of their career.
Barrera cites the case of the UFC’s Jon Jones. Jones repeatedly tested positive for DHCMT metabolites years after he first ingested it. The UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) agreed that the repeated failed steroid tests did not represent the continued use of Oral Turinabol.
Rather, the UFC and USADA believe that its analytical tests can detect the presence of trace levels of DHCMT metabolites for several months or even years or even indefinitely.
For this reason, UFC no longer penalizes athletes who test positive for less than 100 picograms of DHCMT metabolites. Barrera tested positive for only 60 picograms.
The consensus opinion among drug testing experts is that such small quantities of steroid metabolites do not provide a performance-enhancing benefit. Such levels most likely represent accidental usage, such as with the use of contaminated dietary supplements, or usage from several years ago.