Former New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia said Friday that he plans to appeal his permanent suspension by Major League Baseball after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for a third time.
"I will stay here to fight to clear my name and play baseball," Mejia said during a news conference with his lawyer, Vincent White, in New York.
Mejia and the players' association never appealed the third suspension, so he may still have the right to appeal his case to an independent arbitrator, a source told ESPN's Adam Rubin.
The 26-year-old Dominican pitcher received a lifetime ban in February after testing positive for boldenone. Major league players and teams agreed in November 2005 that a third positive test for PEDs would result in a lifetime ban.
"He has no choice [but] to appeal the case," White said. "They [MLB] came at him."
White accused MLB of "dirty cop tactics and hacking players online accounts." He also said the MLB asked Mejia after his second suspension to share information about his doping connections and other players.
"I felt threatened," said Mejia, who added that he has had offers to play in South Korea. "They [MLB] told me that I have to collaborate or a third positive may come."
In a statement, Major League Baseball on Friday denied ever meeting with Mejia about any of his drug violations.
"Sadly, the comments made by Mr. Mejia and his representatives today continue a pattern of athletes hiring aggressive lawyers and making wild, unsupported allegations about the conduct of others in an effort to clear their names," the MLB statement said. "Mr. Mejia's record demonstrates that he was a repeated user of banned performance-enhancing substances. As such, per our collectively bargained rules, he has no place as an active player in the game today."
Mejia was suspended 80 games on April 11, 2015, following a positive test for stanozolol. He returned July 12, appeared in seven games for the Mets, then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for stanozolol and boldenone.