Jose Dominguez… Miguel Sulbaran… Frank Encarnacion… Jose Ramirez… Andy Taveras… Junior Lopez… Elniery Garcia… Starling Marte.
Minor leaguers, except for Marte, they were all born in the Dominican Republic, and they are all serving suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. They all tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. In fact, they are the eight most recent players who tested positive and were suspended in a two-week period this month.
Most intriguing about the suspensions is that the players are all Dominican. Why should that be? Is there something about the island that leads the native players to use steroids? Do players from other Latin countries use steroids, test positive and incur suspensions?
A study of the list of players who have been suspended shows that players from other countries, especially Latin countries, have also been caught using illegal substances and suspended.
For example, of the 140 players who have been suspended this year and last, 81, or 57.9%, were born in North America while 59, or 42.1%, were born in Latin America. Nevertheless, of the 59 born in Latin America, 43, or 72.9%, are Dominican natives.
Among the remaining 16 Hispanics, 7 are Venezuelan, 3 are from Puerto Rico, 2 are Nicaraguan natives and four countries have one player each – Aruba, Colombia, Cuba and Panama.
Not that this is a competition to see which country can have the largest contingent of P.E.D. users, but the Dominican Republic easily surpasses other Latin countries and holds its own in comparison with the United States. One example of that: