Raul Mondesi, the consensus top prospect in the Royals system has been suspended for 50 games for the use of Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing drug. The 20-year old switch-hitting shortstop was hitting .250/.304/.462 in 25 games for AA Northwest Arkansas, and had showed tremendous power this year, already with five home runs after hitting just six all of last year.
Under the collectively bargained Joint Drug Agreement, Mondesi could have been subject to an 80 game suspension for a first-time violator. According to New York Post reporter Joel Sherman, Mondesi negotiated the suspension down to 50 games when he showed the substance was present in cold medicine. Under the agreement, players are responsible for illegal substance, even if ingested without intent, however evidence of no significant fault can mitigate a suspension length.
Clenbuterol is a sympathomimetic amine used by sufferers of breathing disorders as a decongestant and bronchodilator. It is often used as a weight-loss drug. Other athletes suspended for its use include pitcher Guillermo Mota, boxer Erik Morales, and the Mexican national soccer team.
Although suspended players are typically ineligible for post-season, players suspended without "significant fault or negligence" can still be eligible. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that Mondesi will indeed be eligible for post-season play.
"This is an unfortunate incident that we believe to be an innocent mistake. ... We remain supportive of Raul Mondesi." #Royals Dayton Moore— Josh Vernier (@JoshVernier610) May 10, 2016
Update: A statement from Raul Mondesi:
Ned Yost on Mondesi: "It was a case where a young man had a cold and he went in and got an over-the-counter drug medicine."— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) May 10, 2016
Raul Mondesi, Jr. statement through MLBPA on his suspension. #royals pic.twitter.com/gRM7BlhyzR— Todd Leabo (@Leabonics) May 10, 2016