Galvis Suspended 50 Games

Nobody expected this, but in a season that has gone poorly for the Phillies it fit.

Major League Baseball announced today that Freddy Galvis, who has impressed the organization and fans with his brilliant defense and on-field smarts, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a metabolite of Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension began today, even with Galvis on the disabled list with a pars fracture in his back that likely would have had him sidelined the next 50 games anyway. Nobody could say if Galvis appealed the league’s decision, but MLB would not make the announcement if Galvis was in the middle of an appeal. Either he lost his appeal or he never appealed.

Not surprisingly, Galvis claimed innocence in a statement:

“A trace amount of a banned substance – 80 parts in a trillion – was detected in my urine sample. I am extremely disappointed in what has transpired. I cannot understand how even this tiny particle of a banned substance got into my body. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance. I have always tried to follow the team’s strength and conditioning methods, listen to the trainers, work out hard and eat right. Unfortunately, the rules are the rules and I will be suspended.”

Galvis later said on Twitter: “Sometimes life isn’t fair… But that’s the way it is… You have to keep moving forward and turn the page.”

Galvis was hitting only .226 with 15 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 24 RBIs and a .617 on-base plus slugging percentage in 58 games before he went on the DL on June 6. He doesn’t fit the mold of the typical bulked-up power hitter, but Galvis credited increased strength over the past year or so for his improved performance at the plate.

Galvis never hit higher than .240 with a .588 OPS in the Minor Leagues before he hit a combined .278 with a .716 OPS with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season.

“It’s disappointing,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in the Phillies dugout before tonight’s series opener against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. “We fully support the program and the decision. At the same time we support the player. We just want him to get healthy and get back onto the field for us. … We believe in the kid. I believe in him. I think he’s still got a great future for us moving forward.”

Asked if he believed Galvis’ claim of innocence by mentioning only 80 parts of the banned substance in a trillion were found in his system, Amaro said, “I don’t know anything about those numbers. It’s kind of foreign to me. As I said, I support the player. I can’t really comment on it because I don’t know much about it.”

Galvis was not available to reporters, but Amaro had. He said Galvis was “disappointed.”

Galvis also added in his statement, “I’d like to apologize to my all my fans, especially here in Philadelphia and back home in Venezuela, to my teammates and to the Phillies organization. I am looking forward to putting this behind me, rehabilitating my back and returning to the Phillies as soon as possible to try to help them win another World Series.”


Galvis may be blameless. Clostebol is a steroid that is sometimes used to fatten cattle. Detectible levels show up in urine following consumption. Below is an excerpt from a Belgian study conducted in the early nineties. If Galvis ate some meat from cattle fattened with Clostebol he could easily have a positive urine test at low levels.

Clostebol-Positive Urine after Consumption of Contaminated Meat
G. Debruyckere, R. de Sagher, and C. Van Peteghem

We examined the relationship between the consumption of meat from animals treated with anabolic steroids and the detection of these steroids in the athletes consuming this meat. We proved that clostebol metabolites (e.g., 4-chloro4-4-androstene-3a-oI-1 7-one) in the urine of one of the volunteers involved in a feeding experiment were due to accidental consumption of meat contaminated with clostebol acetate. When two volunteers consumed meat (100 g) containing eIther 1 or 0.1 mg of clostebol acetate, the same metabolite was found in their urine.

Clostebol is also used in some gynecologic medications in Brazil – so if Galvis had sex with someone using such medications that could result in a positive test…


Sigh…that is all I got here.

The trace amount found is ridiculous and it most probably was because he ate some treated meat. MLB needs to llok at this closer since it is a common thing to treat feed livestock with steroids.

My guess is, since it coincides with the injury, that the Phillies and Glvis were appealing this but they decided to let it go since it can be served while he’s on the DL.

Timewise it doesn’t matter, but I am sure he would like that $$$ he loses while suspended…

well, he may be innocent. but it is a strange coincidence that he couldn’t hit in the minors and suddenly he could hit. (e.g. had the thought already not crossed our minds?)

That is not true. Freddie Galvis last year hit in AA and AAA far better than he was hitting this year in MLB. People have to remember that he was a skinny little 16 year old kid when he was signed and grew up in the minor leagues. Some of the pitchers he was facing in his early years were college guys who were knocking the bat out of his hands. He had a very solid year in the minors last year.

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