Major League Baseball's policies to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs seemed designed to keep anyone from ever risking the full extent of the punishments. Since they were instituted in 2006, no one has ever faced the final penalty: expulsion from MLB itself. That's changed now, as Mets' reliever Jenrry Mejia is facing a permanent ban from the league after his third performance-enhancing drug violation.
You might remember Mejia from his previous violations: On April 11, 2015, Mejia tested positive for stanozolol, earning himself an 80-game suspension. He returned to the Mets on July 12, threw seven innings over the following two weeks, then was suspended for 162 games for another failed test, which made him just the second player to ever earn a 162-game suspension (after Alex Rodriguez).
Now, while still serving that second suspension, Mejia has failed another test, this time for Boldenone. It's a little on the nose given it's baseball we're talking about, but MLB employs a "three strikes and you're out" PED policy, and this was his third. It's also worth noting that there is no appeal for this third offense; a player can appeal the first two and see his punishment reduced, but there are no appeals for a third failed test.
Mejia is just 26 years old, and was set to be paid $2.47 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Instead, he'll be looking in places besides MLB for work if he plans to keep playing baseball. There are opportunities in other leagues and other countries, but Major League Baseball isn't the only company with PED policies, either.
Mejia also has the distinction of being only the second living player with a lifetime ban from baseball. Pete Rose, of course, is the other, but he was banished for gambling, not performance-enhancing drugs.