The Major League Baseball drug testing program is supposed to be random, but many players aren’t so sure. You can add Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez to that list, who is starting to get a little annoyed at the process.
Gomez says he’s been tested six or seven times already this season, and doesn’t think MLB is telling players the truth about how they assign tests.
“It’s not random. They pick names. Tell the truth. Tell the truth to the baseball world,” Gomez said, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “You’re going to tell me this is random? It’s not 1930 anymore. People know. You can come any time; I’m available to do a drug test. But don’t tell people it’s random. That’s the only complaint that I have.”
There have been numerous incidents of players being “randomly” picked for a test immediately after they have a huge performance. Pitch a one-hit, complete game shutout or knock three home runs in a single game? You can often expect a test request in your locker the next day. Then again, Gomez isn’t exactly setting the American League on fire with his bat this season, hitting just .194 with six home runs in 40 games.
Gomez has never failed a drug test during his 12 years in the Big Leagues, so it’s strange that the MLB’s randomness appears to be targeting him. There have already been a few high profile failed tests in 2018, though, as both Chicago White Sox catcher Wellington Castillo and Seattle Mariners second basemen Robinson Cano were hit with 80-game bans.
“I’m not upset,” Gomez added. “I just want the right answer. Why can’t they tell us this is not random. Why is that complicated? I’m going to continue to say this is not random until they show us (differently).”
Gomez suggested a couple of weeks ago on the Yahoo! Sports podcast that the league targets players who of Hispanic descent or older players, who may be seeking some “extra help” to stay in the game.
Through their collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA, the league only tests for performance enhancing drugs, and not “drugs of abuse” like cocaine or marijuana.