Bartolo Colon Fails MLB Drug Test

Bartolo Colon has failed an MLB-issued drug test and has been suspended for 50 games, reports Jon Heyman of Both the Athletics and MLB have confirmed the suspension. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says (on Twitter) that he tested positive for testosterone. 

Colon, 39, resurrected his career last season after undergoing an experimental stem cell treatment on his injured shoulder, a procedure MLB investigated last summer. Colon is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.

The veteran right-hander has pitched to a 3.43 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 24 starts and 152 1/3 innings for the Athletics this season after signing a one-year, $2MM contract. After missing all of 2010 and most of the 2006-2009 season, the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner resurfaced with the Yankees last season and posted a 4.00 ERA in 164 1/3 innings.

Brett Anderson returned to the Athletics' rotation last night, pitching seven innings and allowing one earned run. He projects to join Brandon McCarthy, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker in the rotation for the remainder of the season. Dan Straily, Tyson Ross and Travis Blackley are also rotation options for the Athletics, who are deep enough in starting pitching to withstand the loss of Colon.

111 Responses to Bartolo Colon Fails MLB Drug Test Leave a Reply

  1. itsmewade 3 years ago

    Holy cow. I didn’t see that coming. Welcome back Straily. I mean Ross :)

  2. nocalraiderfan 3 years ago

    Bummed about this but not completely surprised.

    • letsgogiants 3 years ago

      At least the A’s have depth in their rotation. And with Anderson back along with McCarthy almost as well, the A’s still have a lot of starters they can throw out there. Straily will most likely be back up as he was demoted when Anderson came off the DL.

      • jacks100 3 years ago

        I think you’re missing the point.

        • letsgogiants 3 years ago

          …No. He’s saying it’s a bummer that we’re losing Colon, but at least it’s not the end of the world for the A’s. I’m not surprised either given how good he’s been this year compared to the last 5 years.

  3. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    It amazes me that guys are still juicing with all the testing that goes on.

    • thegoldenone 3 years ago

      The testing isn’t that great. Some think up to 50% are still doing something. So who knows.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Try and get past the MLBPA that owners want more extensive testing and see how far you get…

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          yup. the worst thing about these steroid busts is the relative silence of the yet-to-be-caught majority

          if most of you aren’t cheating, you should be openly furious about those that do – and encourage severe punishments

          • Casor_Greener 3 years ago

            It doesn’t work like that in real life most of the time, why would it in baseball…

        • halflink123 3 years ago

          I think the pitchers would be all for it. Last I checked pitchers were players too. Amazing how much offensive numbers have gone down and pitching numbers up since Cansecos book

          BTW Why isnt McGuire Bonds Giambi etc banned from the game?

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        That was Conte’s quote and I tend to find him as trustworthy as Canseco.

        • Conte made that comment during the Olympics. He also made a comment about leagues that use a 4:1 standard as the base level, saying that a player might try to stay under that threshold.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      it disappoints but does not amaze me. there’s big money in the PED and PED-masking industry

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        Exactly. These players earn multi-million dollar salaries and sometimes a little extra boost could raise that salary. You gotta believe someone else wants to cash in by making sure they can beat a doping test.

      • Karkat 3 years ago

        Didn’t Manny get busted for a PED masker? Are they gonna make masker maskers soon?

        • Titus_00 3 years ago

          Is that like a Trace Buster Buster?

        • roguesaw 3 years ago

          i think he was caught using something you take after a steriod cycle to jump-start your body’s own production of testosterone and to block the production of estrogen, which sometimes happens as a side effect of steriod use.

          it was something that a man would only use for two reasons, he had used steriods or he has breast cancer.

    • jon 3 years ago

      “with all the testing going on”?!?! look up the percentage of MLB that get tested annually. furthermore, a urine test is not a blood test. if the MLB really wanted to catch players, the testing policies would reflect that intention.

      • jb226 3 years ago


        Every player gets tested at the beginning of Spring Training. Every player is then tested again randomly during the season.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      It’s tough to know when he even started juicing. Maybe it started last year in the off season, then he has a good year for NYY, doesn’t flunk any tests and gets a bigger guaranteed contract for this season.

    • roguesaw 3 years ago

      something to keep in mind is that certain steriods and HGH are not illegal in alot of Caribbean and Latin American Countries. so often these guys juice at home in the offseason and just hope they get it out of their system before they get tested. Cabrera got nabbed when, july?

      Does the CBA allow for offseason random testing? they want the policy to have teeth they need to add that.

      • jb226 3 years ago

        Yes, it does. I was actually just reading about it when we heard about Melky’s suspension. The agreement allows 200 tests between the end of this season and the beginning of spring training, but only for performance-enhancing drugs (not drugs of abuse). It goes up to 225 next offseason and 250 each offseason after that.

        However, a few things to point out:

        1. That’s not very much. The drug program applies to anybody on a 40 man roster and there are 30 baseball teams, meaning only about a 200/1200 chance of getting picked at all (just under 17%). At its peak it will be about 21%.

        2. I saw nothing whatsoever about off-season drug tests being authorized for the offseason that just passed. I don’t know why that is. Was it authorized under a previous agreement? Was there simply no offseason testing allowed this year?

        3. You still have to get caught. Some people suggest there are steroid creams which can exit the body in days, which greatly narrows your window of actually getting caught even if you get tested.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Fringe players (or formerly fringe players). They have nothing to lose and if they don’t get caught, plenty to gain.

  4. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    Bad week for west coast challengers.

  5. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    i love baseball but this stuff really bums me out. i’d like to see much harsher penalties

    • Karkat 3 years ago

      You and me both.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      First offense does mean a player misses a third of the season. I’d hope that would be enough a deterrent.

      • Karkat 3 years ago

        If I made the rules, first offense would either be the rest of the season (in the first half) or until next season’s All-Star break (in the second half). Second offense if a perma-ban.

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

          How about if a player used PEDs they forfeit their season’s salary to an anti-drug program.

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            They currently just lose the salary right? Under that plan you’d be making the team pay for the player’s violation. I’d be in favor of fines to the player though.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            I meant to money they’d earn playing for the season. Ultimately it all boils down to money. They take PEDs because even the slightest improvement can earn millions of dollars more. So in the end it comes down to a calculated choice: The risk of losing 50 games and creditability for a while or losing out on the next big contract. So weigh the scale more, make the player pay for cheating.

        • roguesaw 3 years ago

          its baseball man, three stirkes and you’re out, not two. that said something id like to see is that the team be able to void out the contract if they so choose. not only that, but i think the team should be given a significant amount of time to make that decision, perhaps the duration of the suspension.

          it would hit some guys harder than others, sure. Colon and Cabrera are not making crazy money nor have long term commitments, but who knows who’s doing PED’s.

          Another side effect is, im pretty sure under the current rules you have to be under contract to serve your suspension, so, should a team void your deal, youve got to wait until you sign with someone for the clock to start ticking again.

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            you’re actually automatically out the first time in a game if you break a rule

          • roguesaw 3 years ago

            ive never seen anyone ejected for a balk….

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            good thing i didn’t say “automatically ejected” then huh

          • roguesaw 3 years ago

            “why are you…you said “three strikes and you’re out” in response to karkat’s suggestion that they be banned from baseball on the second offense. in other words, “out” as you both used it meant “banned””

            you seem to be aware we were referring to being removed from the game

          • roguesaw 3 years ago

            and they are out. they are out 50 games. 50 times more punishment than an ejection.

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            why are you…you said “three strikes and you’re out” in response to karkat’s suggestion that they be banned from baseball on the second offense. in other words, “out” as you both used it meant “banned”

            the analogy to how it works in the game, then, is actually that they’d be banned for the first offense, not the third. taking a strikes is not the same at all as taking steroids

    • HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

      Like being beaten with a Rosie O’Donnell cut-out?

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      They should make it more of a financial deterrent. Like your current contract becomes void.

      Imagine if melky didn’t get caught, took his break out year in to FA and gets a 5 year deal.. the team signing was mislead by his performance.

      Get caught using PEDs, you automatically become a free agent.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        even better, your service clock is reset to zero

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        If contracts could be voided if a player tests positive for PEDs, what possible motivation would teams have for self-policing? You go ahead and throw money at guys you have suspicions about, and if they get caught, you wipe your hands, get off the hook for the rest of the deal, and go shopping again.

        This is a terrible idea.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          so your logic behind it being a terrible idea is that players would continue to get caught and now it would hurt them financially. You self police because you want your good players to remain on the field. How is any of what you said in any way negative?


          • Esteban Daviso 3 years ago

            No, he’s saying you create an environment where teams may have no problem with players using PEDs because it maximizes their performance and, if the player gets caught, the team can simply wash its hands of the commitment and NOT be hurt financially. The team can then replace the player who got caught with the next guy who may be using PEDs, rinse and repeat.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            You seem really hung up on the notion that I am defending the players or wanting them to get their money even if they cheat. I’ve said nothing about that at all, so I don’t really know how to pick up that conversation.

            I definitely encourage things that hurt abusers of the system financially. I discourage things that would allow people who abuse the system to benefit. So, while I like the idea of guys who are caught not getting paid, I am against letting teams who sign PED users to big deals off the hook when those guys get caught. Because if this is the case, there is substantially reduced financial incentive for teams to self-police.

            I don’t know if there is an elegant way to both punish the players financially and to make sure that teams aren’t abusing the system knowingly signing PED users then getting away scot-free when those guys get caught. Maybe the teams could be forced to pay a hefty buyout of the deal with the proceeds going to drug awareness or something? I don’t know.

        • roguesaw 3 years ago

          i guess i see what you’re driving at. that the team was complicit in the players use and that they get a break once he’s caught. but ultimately it comes down to the individual. the player didnt have to use, but he did and he was caught and the team voided his deal. did he get screwed? well, no. he used. did the team get away with something? idk, maybe. if they were really complacent and the player could prove they knew, he’s more than welcome to file a grievance. maybe bud punishes the team too in that scenario.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            What I am saying is that teams currently have to be careful who they give multi-year deals to, because if a guy gets caught in year one of a five year deal, then stops producing after he comes back, you’re paying a ton of money for a level of production you are never going to see again. If you were free to take that risk without fear of getting stuck, you might be inclined to look the other way, knowing it couldn’t hurt your pocketbook if he gets caught.

        • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

          Not following your logic. A team would prefer to cut bait rather than having a player sit out for a suspension. They reap all the benefits of his PED use and when he’s busted sever ties.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            “They reap all the benefits of his PED use and when he’s busted sever ties.”

            This is the part I am complaining about.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            how is that a complaint? You feel sorry for a player who used illegal substances?

            If you don’t want a 50 game suspension or in my scenario to have your contract void, then there is a pretty simple solution, don’t do PEDs.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            Are you responding to ME? I’m seriously confused. When did I ever say I felt sorry for the player? When did I ever say I was against suspensions?

            I’m saying that–while it might be a stinging and appropriate punishment for the player, voiding contracts like that would make it easier for teams who knowingly sign PED users to big contracts to get away with it.

            Are you in favor of THAT?

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            players who get caught using PEDs don’t get sign to big contracts, teams steer clear of them, are we forgetting the Barry Bonds incident already? No body went near him.

            I’m not in favour of what you’re suggesting, but what you’re suggesting isn’t likely.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            It is true: under the current system, in which teams have a great deal to lose financially by signing players with PED concerns, players who have been caught using them have not signed big contracts.

            Can you not see how making it so that teams have nothing to lose financially might change that?

            Okay, but really… now I am shutting up. Have a good day.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            I can definitely see your point. and I cant argue it..

            but I guess in my mind, the new rules would make it so rough for a player getting caught, that no one in their right mind would do it.

            I don’t have much faith in most athletes, but I know enough to know that many players would jeopardize their legacies but never their wallets.

            imagine the yankees being able to void arods deal, or brewers with braun? One has to assume that the penalty, financially, would just be so tough that most players wouldn’t do it.

            perhaps thats optimism(?) on my part, which is leading to our disagreement. good talk bob, see you out there

      • ima_robot_beepbeepbeep 3 years ago

        just give PED’ers the black sox treatment. problem solved.

        • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
          Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

          That’s an interesting idea. Funny thing is about gambling and baseball, the rules are kind of hypocritical. Pete Rose got a lifetime ban for gambling, but if you look at who the current advertisers are for the baseball games (teams). For instance the Mariners allow Emerald Queen Casino, MASN allows that saw dust joint, I love the term saw dust joint btw, Charlestown to advertise. I mean I kind of scratch my head when I see commercials for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love horse racing, slot machines not at all, anyway what I am trying to say I surprised Pete Rose hasn’t brought that up for an appeal and I think the Black Sox should be pardoned.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            Baseball has never been opposed to gambling, only gambling by players and other team personnel who might affect the outcome of a game.

        • jwsox 3 years ago

          seriously why is taking money to throw a game, or in pete roses case betting on games you didnt play in worthy of a life time ban but cheating while playing just is a suspension…this is bud selig being weak again, he could easily place a ban in place for these guys IE starting today anyoe caught gets a 1 year ban with no pay one their first failed test(same with minor leaguers) a second fail test is a life time ban

          • what about players who cork a bat or sandpaper a ball (like JPeralta this year)?

          • Michael 3 years ago

            Same “punishment” I have thought for years. This isn’t an “oops, I didn’t know it was wrong” situation anymore. Every player using PEDs is sticking one big finger up at MLB and the fans as if to say “go ahead and catch me….I’ll be back in 7 weeks”. Tougher penalties are needed NOW!

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        Hypothetical scenario:

        Slugger John Smith is a free agent. It’s widely suspected that he abuses PEDs. My team knows this is probably the case, but we sign him for 5 years, $80 million anyway. He gives us two years of PED-enhanced performance before getting caught, then we get to void his contract and walk away from the $48 million remaining on the deal we knowingly promised to a PED user.

        That’s not only cheating on the part of the team, but your proposed rule change drastically reduced the consequences they faced when the player was caught. They actually benefit twice under this plan.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          your hypothetical scenario includes a ‘widely suspected PED user’ but he doesn’t get caught for 2 years? How does that exactly work, you do realize that ‘random’ drug tests arent so random? That suspected players and previous caught players are checked that much more often. So your hypothetical scenario is not realistic in any way.

          and can you name me a player who’s been caught using PEDs that has gotten a long term contract afterwards? Teams don’t touch these guys with a 10 foot pool.

          Melky effectively lost upwards of 50 million dollars with 1 positive testing.

      • Giorgi Almonte 3 years ago

        well the system its not perfect yet, so that’s not a good idea…

    • jwsox 3 years ago

      this is the exact reason why baseball needs to do away with guaranteed contracts. NBA, NHL, NFL all have it and you hardly ever hear players complain about it….but i agree 50 games with no pay plus a fine for the first time, a full season with no pay and a bigger fine for the second, and a MLB life time ban for the 3rd, If pete rose gets banned for betting on games that he didnt even play in why dont guys who LITERALLY CHEAT dont get banned

    • $21621694 3 years ago

      I’m thinking one year unpaid suspension, 2 years 2nd offense, ban 3rd offense

  6. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    I know I take testosterone to have a body like Bartolo

    • roguesaw 3 years ago

      i just roll with cosmic brownies and coca cola. its cheaper and you still get the same great 46 inch waist.

    • Rabbitov 3 years ago

      His punishment should be a 50 day gym membership.

  7. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    I’m a ISA-Test guy myself, can only imagine how bomb pure Test is….that stuff will shrink the nuts and have to PCT off of it to get your nuts back…lol no thank you.

  8. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

    Had to give in and change my name because Disqus wasn’t buying the Yahoo sign in anymore.
    Anyway, 1st this is disappointing.
    Second, I am shocked, he would do it.
    Third, this is good news for the O’s because if the O’s and the A’s got to the wild card game and faced each other. I suspect Melvin would have started Colon.
    Orioles hitters can’t hit Colon even with an ironing board, he always shut down the O’s

  9. What needs to be investigated is if there is any common link between Colon and Cabrera, especially give that they both tested positive for testosterone. More significant is that both players are on teams contending for the playoffs…and so you have to wonder who else is using PEDs, especially players trying to extend their careers or having breakout seasons in a run-up to free agency.

    • slasher016 3 years ago

      You’ll recall that Braun also tested positive for testosterone…he just was lucky enough to get off on a technicality. So that’s 3 in less than a year.

      • For what drug did Guillermo Mota test positive back in May?

        • rainyperez 3 years ago

          Wasn’t a PED but some chemical in children’s cough syrup he took at least that’s his story. But to his credit MLB player’s association didn’t discredit his story which is why the Giants FO is ok brining him back to pitch middle relief.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      maybe its in the water out west.

  10. JimBaily 3 years ago

    Like it or not, the bottom line is that players will keep doing PED’s because it’s worth the risk.

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      I think PED’s are more rampant in sports today than it ever was. Baseball for whatever reason will always be the poster child for it. Modern medicine is always evolving and it wouldn’t surprise me if the NFL, NBA, and NHL were all in on the PED usage. Nevertheless it really hurts the one sport I truly love.

  11. rainyperez 3 years ago

    After MLB officials went to suspected Testosterone user Bartolo Colon’s house all they found after entering the premise was a fork, knife, bib, and half a eaten San Francisco Giants hat.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

      The Giants hat contained the banned substance, it had a Balco tag stitched inside. Colon could claim it wasn’t his fault.

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        Authorities are led to believe that Bartolo Colon, in order to get ready for the stretch run, ate Melky Cabrera to gain a competitive edge.

  12. CowboySoldier 3 years ago

    I had suspicions (even if he rather fat). You dont get tht much better that quick!

    • JimBaily 3 years ago

      That’s the beauty of testosterone in it’s many forms, you don’t have to work out to gain it’s benefits like you would with steroids.

  13. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    Colon blow!

  14. ChefR 3 years ago

    50 days with no Colon. Isn’t that what Elvis had?

  15. Dave 3 years ago

    Steroid use is still rampant in the game. Probably 70% or more of the players are using one banned substance or another.

  16. jwsox 3 years ago

    it would be interesting to see what type of testosterone he used. Remember he is 39, typically men in the late 30’s early 40’s lose or have natural drops in testosterone. It would be interesting to see if what he was caught using was a medically prescribed topical testosterone supplement. Many many many men use these legal, prescribed creams every day to bring their testosterone back to normal natural level to help them stay healthy, alert, lose weight, keep their libido up, help them be mentally healthy. If your test level drop to or below 300 thats when doctors prescribe these creams, It would just be interesting to see if bartolo(or who ever else this will happen to, more names will come out) have actual medical issues but still get suspended because its still against the rules

    I want to make this clear im not trying to come up with some sort of excuse for him, he did the wrong thing he got caught thats all, I dot really care either way about bartolo I’m just saying it would be interesting if this guy or other older players(again more names will come out) are medically allowed to use a test cream but still not allowed to use it in MLB

    • jb226 3 years ago

      There is a therapeutic use exemption to the drug penalties. All he has to do is have a valid prescription for a condition requiring the drug, and notify the group responsible for the testing programs. Technically it’s possible they could deny the exemption but I don’t see why they would if that was truly the case.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        Thanks for the info. I thought there would be some sort of medical exemption but thanks for clarifying.

    • The body rarely goes over 4 parts testosterone to 1 part epitestosterone, however. That is the basis for the 4:1 standard…chances are that this had to be significantly more. In addition, if there was a prescription, MLB should have known about it.

  17. Gumby65 3 years ago

    He probably thinks he’s got a good excuse, but MLB wouldn’t buy it.
    Verdict: Colon is full of it.

  18. Randolph_Knackstedt 3 years ago

    Cabrera and Colon … it’s an MLB conspiracy to keep the
    Bay Area teams out of the post season to keep the TV ratings as high as possible.

    I’m joking! They obviously failed the test.

    But, what if MLB is turning a blind eye to “other” teams
    and not busting their players due to screwing up the chemistry of the teams
    that might get better post season ratings?

  19. Wonder if he ordered this from Melkey’s website?

  20. Odawg8 3 years ago

    News Report: Bartolo Colon tests positive for PED usage. He is said to be blaming it on his eating of Melky Cabrera.

  21. Runtime 3 years ago

    39 year old pitcher putting up 29 year old numbers? Well, this is completely shocking.

  22. bigpat 3 years ago

    Wow, he was on that dreamer bulk.

  23. tomymogo 3 years ago

    If you think about it, this guys know exactly what they’re doing. Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon were awful, Bartolo at 39 gone for a year, and Melky had just been non-tendered because the guy couldn’t hit, and took horrible routes to balls. If Bartolo had never taken steroids or whatever he took, he wouldn’t have been able to throw 94 mph and pitch like he has.

    So on the one hand, Bartolo has 2 options, he doesn’t take steroids he never makes it back and he stays in Dominican Republic. In the other hand he takes steroids, he makes it back and make 2.9 million(a little bit less since he won’t be paid for the final month. He has nothing to lose. Neither did Melky, and he made who never would have made 6 million this year if he wouldn’t have taken steroids.

    Teams don’t give a rat’s a$$ unless you get caught, they just wan’t bargains and performance. Now Bartolo at age 39 probably won’t come back, but Melky will and since he already took them, he won’t be the player he was with Atlanta, nor will he be the guy that played for the Giants, but I guarantee a team will take a chance on him, and he’ll be solid.

    So like I said, the opportunity cost of Melky even if he got caught(which happened) is much greater than not taken them.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago


      IF (HUGE if) Melky’s performance was heavily influenced by the PEDs he took, he just made himself more money. Not the 50MM more, but still better than the minor league and league minimum deals he’d be taking if he was still his 2010 self or close to it, even in spite of getting caught and suspended for 50 games.

      Same thing with Bartolo. If the PEDs were actually effective (assuming he probably used them through last year as well), he got himself a ~2MM deal for this year instead of a minor league deal.

  24. Bartolo Colon might have been a poster boy for inexpensive fixes, for cash strapped, small market clubs. Instead he joins a list of players no one wants to consider…

  25. Zeke 3 years ago

    He tested positive for MSG.

  26. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    “i thought they were stem cells”

  27. johnsilver 3 years ago

    He must have had them injected in both his brain and his right arm several years back. Possibly his defense when he claims “temporary insanity” and sues the Dr. who performed the treatment back then.

  28. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    lol this is absolutely ridiculous.

    the onus is on the league to flush out the PED users. you honestly think these teams don’t know about this stuff, pretty naive.

  29. sourbob 3 years ago

    If by “defeat,” you mean that I failed to explain a simple concept to you in plain English, I concede. Would that I could have found a way…

  30. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    I don’t take this stuff seriously, it was a thought i had, I wrote it down in a comment.

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