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Jenrry Mejia wants to challenge deal not to appeal third positive test

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NEW YORK — Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia wants to challenge the agreement he made not to appeal his third positive drug test, which led to a lifetime ban from baseball.

Banned on Feb. 12, Mejia spoke at a news conference Friday in the office of one of his new lawyers. They accused Major League Baseball of orchestrating his third positive test because Mejia refused to implicate another individual, whom they would not identify, in the use of performance-enhancing drugs. MLB denies the allegations.

Mejia was suspended for 80 games last April 11 following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders, and now admits he did take a banned substance then. He returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was suspended for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.