By Matt McCarthy,

Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Wright reportedly tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2, a banned PED.

Wright denies knowingly taking a banned substance, but said in a statement that he does not dispute the validity of the failed test.

“I was notified by MLB that I failed a test under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program during this past offseason. Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked as I have never intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes. I have fully cooperated with MLB and will continue to try and identify the source of the result,” Wright said.

In a statement, the Red Sox expressed disappointment in Wright’s positive test, but said they would “support” the knuckleballer.

“The Boston Red Sox fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from the game. While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter,” the team said in a statement.

Wright is eligible to return in June, but will be ineligible for the postseason as a result of the positive test.

His appeal of the matter was rejected Tuesday.

Wright made 20 appearances in 2018 after undergoing season-ending knee surgery in 2017. Wright’s knee flared up again before Game 1 of the ALDS last year and did not pitch again.

In recent comments, Wright said he believed his knee would never be the same again following the cartilage restoration procedure.

Dustin Pedroia had similar surgery in 2017 and has played only three games since then.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.