Cuban minor league pitcher suspended without pay for consumption of prohibited substance

Vladimir Gutiérrez, 24, left the Cuba baseball team during the Caribbean Series that was played in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2015.

Vladimir Gutiérrez © Doug Gray /
Vladimir Gutierrez Foto © Doug Gray /

This article is from 3 years ago

The young Cuban pitcher Vladimir Gutiérrez, who is in the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds, was suspended this Sunday for 80 games without pay, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The 24-year-old Cuban right-hander was detected with possible use of Stanozolol, which is considered a violation within the minor league drug prevention and treatment program, reported .

Gutiérrez, who is considered the number 15 prospect in the organization per, signed for $4.75 million as an international free agent in 2016 and spent last season at Triple-A Louisville.

The young man had a 6.04 ERA in 27 starts last year at Louisville, with 117 strikeouts and 48 walks in 137 innings. However, the test results violate the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.

Commonly sold under the name Winstrol (oral) and Winstrol Depot (intramuscular), Stanozolol is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from dihydrotestosterone that belongs to the group of attenuated androgens.

Its effects are expressed in an increase in appetite and the taste of food, which results in an increase in body mass index. It can cause adverse reactions to the liver of those who consume it.

It has been used quite frequently by athletes due to the reduction it produces in body fat, an attraction also for those who practice bodybuilding. It can be administered as a 50 mg/mL injection. More recent versions come in pills of 75 mg/ml to 100 mg mL; 10 mg is the lowest dose in tablets, but 50 mg are also available.

Vladimir Gutiérrez is a native of Mantua, Pinar del Río, and was born in 1995. He left the Cuba baseball team during the Caribbean Series that was played in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2015, after having emerged as Rookie of the Year for series baseball nationals in the 2013/2014 season.

“When I arrived at the Caribbean Series I had already decided to stay. I was very attracted to Major League ball. “It all started with that first step, complicated, because I was almost a child, but now I say it was worth it,” he said in an interview in 2016.

His 93 mph fastball increased to 97 after some time training in the United States. “It's about delivery mastery, quantity, mental strength. There (in Cuba) they don't work on that much,” he said then.

At that time, the man from Pinar del Río highlighted that his goal was to become a starter in the Major Leagues. “Life and my efforts will tell,” he emphasized.

Gutiérrez struggled mightily in Triple-A last season, posting a 6.04 ERA in 27 starts. In August he managed to bounce back with a 3.74 ERA in six starts, where he struck out 41 batters in 33.2 innings.

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Michael Gonzalez

Cibercuba journalist. Graduated in Journalism from the University of Havana (2012). Co-founder of the independent magazine El Estornudo.

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