MLB Player Mike Marjama Suspended For Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs — Except He Retired Last year

Jayne Kamin-OnceaGetty Images

Former Seattle Mariners catcher has been suspended by Major League Baseball (MLB) for 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PED’s), Yahoo Sports is reporting. That’s all well and good, except Marjama retired last season.

In a situation that seems not unlike that of your boss retroactively suspending you from work long after you’ve quit, MLB’s front office handed down an 80-day suspension to the former catcher, but the suspension is moot since Marjama isn’t playing baseball any more.

Or at least, so it appears.

A Lackluster Career

Marjama spent most of his 10-year baseball career in the minor leagues, never making much of a splash in the majors. In his last professional season, he appeared in 10 games as a Mariner, before abruptly announcing his retirement in July 2018.

As Yahoo Sports reported in March 2018, Marjama had battled eating disorders for much of his life. As a high school wrestler, Marjama was so focused on maintaining a proper weight that he developed anorexia. He noted at the time that it’s unusual for eating disorders to affect men and teen boys.

“If I can maybe affect one person that doesn’t have to have their hopes and dreams taken away from them because they’re suffering from an eating disorder. And they’re able to follow their hopes and dreams, that’s all I really want.”

When he retired, as Yahoo Sports reported at the time, Marjama said that he was giving up baseball in order to help people with eating disorders. Specifically, he took a job with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA).

It remains unclear, as of this writing, if Marjama’s eating disorders played a role in his inability to make it in the majors.

Busted For PED’s

This week, MLB reported that Marjama tested positive for Oxandrolone, a drug so rarely used by MLB players that only three players have been suspended for its use ever since the league started testing for PEDs.

As per the league’s player contract, the front office issued an 80-game suspension. But since Marjama isn’t playing any more, is MLB “punishing” Marjama simply because they can? Or is there more to the story?

Making A Comeback?

Yahoo Sports writer Mike Oz notes that, though he’s officially retired, Marjama has applied for reinstatement, meaning that he may have set his sights on once again making a go at the majors.

How his suspension will play into all of this remains unclear.

Marjama, for his part, issued a statement that he “did not knowingly take a banned substance,” but that he intends to serve his suspension without filing an appeal.