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Rockies top prospect Colton Welker suspended for PED use

The club announced their corner infield prospect will be suspended for 80 games.

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The Colorado Rockies announced this evening that their 1B/3B prospect Colton Welker (No. 11 COL, No. 5 PuRP) has been suspended for 80 games in accordance with Major League Baseball’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program after testing positive for a banned performance enhancing substance.

Per the Athletic’s Nick Groke, Welker tested positive for DHCMT: a steroid created in East Germany in 1961. Teammate Justin Lawrence tested positive for the same compound in 2020 and was suspended for the duration of the season.

Welker has denied willingly or intentionally using the substance, known also as Oral Turbinol, to enhance his athletic performance. He joins a group of over 20 players who have tested positive for the substance since 2015, many of whom maintain their innocence and point to a flawed testing process. A player can test positive for DHCMT through M3 metabolites, a long-term compound that remains in the body long after the parent substance has broken down. Positive tests can be flagged from less than ten picograms (a picogram is one trillionth of a gram) in their urine. Because of this margin for error, other sports such as UFC have established a minimum positive threshold of 100 picograms. Major League Baseball has no such threshold, though the MLBPA supports the establishment of one. Welker himself states that “given the information provided to me by the Players Association and laboratory, the amount detected was so minimal that it would have no effect on enhancing my performance.”

Welker—drafted by the Rockies in 2016— was expected to join the Rockies’ big league roster at some point during the 2021 season after turning heads with an impressive spring training showing. With an 80-game suspension, though, he would not be available to the team until late in the summer. It is currently unknown if he plans to appeal his suspension.

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Purple Row will continue to monitor the situation, and update this article as more information becomes available.