Major League Baseball permanently banned New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia in February after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the third time in a year, but Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Tuesday that the exiled pitcher will receive “fair consideration” if he applies for reinstatement when the 2018 season rolls around, according to’s Adam Rubin. 

“… He has right to file for reinstatement,” Manfred said, per Rubin. “If and when he does that, I’ll give that request for reinstatement fair consideration.”  

Mejia became the first player in MLB history to receive a lifetime ban for three positive PED tests, but he spoke at his lawyer’s office in early March in an attempt to state his case. 

Although Mejia, speaking through an interpreter, told reporters he was “not here to accuse anyone or hurt anyone,” according to the New York Daily NewsNathaniel Vinton, Christian Red and Michael O’Keeffe, his lawyer, Vincent White, alleged that the ban was the result of not cooperating in a sting operation. 

“Mr. Mejia was told by league representatives that if he did not provide testimony on a particular player they wanted to investigate they would go out of their way to find him positive a third time,” White said, per Vinton, Red and O’Keeffe. “My client believes he has no choice now but to fight.”

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Manfred adamantly denied those allegations.

“First of all, let me say, the allegations made by Mr. Mejia’s attorney are utterly and completely without factual foundation,” Manfred said, according to Rubin. “I think we’ve been pretty clear about that. And I don’t think it’s ever a positive, in any relationship, when somebody goes out and says things that are not true.”

While Mejia is still years away from being granted a hearing, Rubin noted that the 26-year-old will be able to challenge any future denial of his reinstatement by taking his case to an independent arbitrator. 

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