Tampa Bay reliever Alex Colome has received a suspension for 50 games after he tested positive for anabolic steroids. The banned substance for which Colome tested positive is a metabolite of Boldenone, an anabolic steroid developed for veterinary use and used mostly for the treatment of horses.
Also known as Equipoise, Boldenone is popular in bodybuilding and athletics circles as a steroid that produces slower mass gains than Deca Durabolin but having fewer negative effects.
In a statement, the Rays said that we were disappointed to learn of Alex Colome's violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The team said we fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game and added the organization will not comment further on this matter as per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program. Colome's suspension will begin with the 2014 season and he will be unavailable until late May and will have to miss the first 50 matches of the season.
The Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball, the nephew of former Rays reliever Jesus Colome, was tabbed the fifth-best prospect for the Rays in the DRaysBay writer's poll, and in the Beyond the Box Score aggregate rankings.
With this suspension, Alex Colome becomes the first major league player to be suspended for a positive steroid test since Yasmani Grandal in November 2012. In the last few months, fifteen players (including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez) were suspended but none of them was because of positive steroid tests. Colome also becomes the Rays major leaguer since Manny Ramirez (in April 2011) to receive a drug suspension of any kind.
Born in Santo Domingo, Alex Colome signed in 2007 with the Devil Rays as an 18-year-old non-drafted free agent. In 2008, he came stateside after a season in the Dominican Summer League. The 25-year-old right-hander was optioned March 8 to Triple-A Durham of the International League. A native of the Dominican Republic, Colome was considered as an important rotation depth in light of an offseason elbow surgery that is keeping Jeremy Hellickson out until May and was ticketed to start the season at Class AAA Durham. Colome was expected to start the season in the Durham rotation with fellow starters Enny Romero, Nathan Karns, Matt Andriese, and Mike Montgomery.
It is believed that Romero, who made a debut with the Rays in 2013 or Nathan Karns may be the next starter who would be called upon if Tampa Bay does need someone to make a spot start.
Joel Peralta, a mentor for many of the Rays' young players from the Dominican Republic, said he talked to Colome and he didn't even know that that's going to happen. Peralta added Colome didn't know he was doing something like that. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Colome not being available right here -- he's a guy that we were counting on in that particular role being the sixth or seventh starter.