Red Sox pitcher Wright suspended 80 games for doping

Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright has been suspended 80 games for failing a drugs test (AFP Photo/Omar Rawlings)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright was handed an 80-game suspension on Wednesday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball confirmed in a statement.

Wright, 34, tested positive for growth hormone releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2) in violation of the league's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the statement said.

The right-handed pitcher, a veteran of two World Series-winning seasons with the Red Sox, will now miss the first half of the season.

"While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time," the Red Sox said in a statement.

In a statement issued by Wright by the MLB Players Association, the pitcher said he was baffled by the failed test.

"Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked as I have never intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes," Wright said.

"I have fully cooperated with MLB and will continue to try and identify the source of the result," he added.

The suspension is the second Wright has incurred since last year. He was given a 15-game ban in 2018 over an allegation of domestic violence.