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Banned for life: Mets pitcher Jennry Mejia banished for drug use

New York Mets pitcher Jennry Mejia became the first major league player banned under the sport's drug policy when he was "permanently suspended" Friday after a third positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

Mejia joins Pete Rose as the only living players banished for life, according to John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball.

Rose, barred for gambling on the sport, was denied reinstatement in December. Mejia can apply for reinstatement but must sit out at least two years, according to the MLB drug policy.

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Mejia, 26, was suspended twice last year for steroid use. He served a 80-game suspension at the start of the season after testing positive for stanozolol. He rejoined the Mets in July but, after pitching in seven games, tested positive for stanozolol and boldenone and received a 162-game suspension. 

His second positive test last year occurred as he was serving his first suspension, according to ESPN. Players can continue playing while appeals on heard; suspensions are not announced until the appeals process is completed.

The MLB announcement Friday said Mejia was "permanently suspended by MLB after testing positive for boldenone, his 3rd performance-enhancing substance violation."

Mejia emerged as the Mets' closer in 2014. In his absence in 2015, Jeurys Familia took over as closer. The Mets won the National League East for the first time in nine years and advanced to the World Series for the first time in 15 years.

The Mets had tendered Mejia a contract for the 2016 season, although his unpaid suspension would have continued until after the All-Star break.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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