NEW YORK -- The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Wednesday that two Braves Minor Leaguers have been suspended 72 games apiece after testing positive for banned steroids.
Right-handers Victor Joaquin and Alvaro Silvestre received 72-game suspensions without pay. Joaquin tested positive for nandrolone, while Silvestre was flagged for using boldenone.
Joaquin and Silvestre, both 20, were on the roster of the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Braves. Joaquin was 3-4 with a 3.89 ERA in nine games (six starts), while Silvestre was 3-0 with a 7.65 ERA in 12 relief appearances. The suspensions of both players, which represent the first for performance-enhancing substances under the new Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, are effective immediately.
Under the rules of the new program for Rookie and Short-Season leagues, a first violation receives a discipline of 80 games or the total number of regular-season games in the league, whichever is shorter. The DSL plays a 72-game schedule, so the suspensions of Joaquin and Silvestre are for 72 games apiece.
Nandrolone, commonly sold as Deca-Durabolin, is a drug used to promote muscle growth, bone density and red blood cell production. Boldenone, more commonly known and marketed as Equipoise, is an anabolic steroid developed for veterinary use, primarily to treat horses. Side effects include increased muscle growth, red blood cell counts and appetite.
Major League Baseball has suspended 40 players this year for violations of the Minor League drug program.