Guillermo Mota

Guillermo Mota suspended for 100 games after testing positive for Clenbuterol

San Francisco Giants reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended by Major League Baseball today for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. The PED: Clenbuterol. The suspension: 100 games, since this counts as Mota’s second infraction (he was the first MLB player to be suspended when they changed the drug policy, and served his suspension at the beginning of the 2007 season as a member of the New York Mets.

The San Francisco Giants just released the following:

The San Francisco Giants issued the following statement regarding the 100-game suspension of pitcher Guillermo Mota for testing positive for a substance in violation of the Major League drug policy.

“The Giants are disappointed to learn of Guillermo Mota’s suspension.  We support Major League Baseball’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”

According to Alex Pavlovic, the suspension is effective immediately.

The Giants could go with 11 pitchers for the time being and activate Aubrey Huff, who traveled with the team to Los Angeles last night. Or, they could bring back one of the pitchers currently in Fresno who’ve pitched on the Giants this season: Eric Hacker (who pitched respectably in a spot start on April 27 and has put up some good numbers in Fresno) or Dan Otero (who pitched fine with the Giants until getting lit up for 6 ER in Cincinnati before getting sent down).

Many are calling for the Giants to call up Heath Hembree (pictured), the 23-year-old closer who’s saved 8 games so far in Fresno. However, the Giants have seemed fairly serious about not rushing Hembree, and bringing him up as a response to Mota’s suspension would seem to be a reactionary move. Doesn’t mean they won’t do it, but I have a hard time believing they’ll call up Hembree before June at the earliest (unless other Giants relievers get injured/suspended, which seems to be the trend).

So why was Mota taking “Clen,” as it’s called in bodybuilding circles? An LA Times article about Alberto Contador having his 2010 Tour de France title stripped after testing positive for the drug back in February explains:

The drug is a beta2-agonist that works as a bronchodilator, loosening muscles that line the airways so that air can pass through more easily. It has other properties as well that are attractive to athletes, some of whom use it as a performance-enhancing drug.

Clenbuterol can also increase heart rate, build lean muscle mass and promote weight loss. For those reasons it’s been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee. Side effects can include nervousness, nausea, headaches and insomnia.

From reading about the drug on Wikipedia and steroids sites (which there sure are a lot of), it appears the drug’s selling point is that it’ll help a person (or animal) burn fat. One might wonder how well the drug was working since Mota isn’t exactly svelte, but for a 38-year-old he has done a pretty good job of keeping his weight consistent, at least. In other words, he’s kept his belly under control well enough to keep his job. Now he’s lost that job, although Mota will be eligible to return to the Giants on Aug. 28.

That is, if the Giants even want him. His last outing, on Saturday, featured Mota giving up a home run to Ryan Braun and walking Cesar Izturis with a 2-run lead before being lifted for Javier Lopez. It might be time for the Giants to let Mota go and allow him to live a PED-free existence, where he can eat whatever he wants and gain weight naturally.

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