NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mets closer Jenrry Mejia has been suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for the banned substance stanozolol, Major League Baseball said on Sunday.
"I know the rules are the rules and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system," Mejia said in a statement issued by the players union.
"I have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury. I have worked way too hard to come back and get to where I am, so I would never knowingly put anything in my body that I thought could hold me out further.
"I'm sorry to the Mets organization, my teammates and the fans, as well as my family."
The 25-year-old right hander, who is on the disabled list with an inflamed elbow, will not be able to play again until at least July and would be ineligible for the playoffs if the team make the post-season, the Mets said on their website.
"It's obviously disappointing," Mets captain and third baseman David Wright said. "Not only do you cost yourself 80 games and don't get paid, but you're hurting everyone in here. You're letting down your teammates.
"And that probably means just as much, if not more, than hurting yourself."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)