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Skoglund unsure of what led to suspension

February 16, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund said Saturday that he doesn't know what he ingested that caused him to fail a drug test that led to an 80-game suspension for being in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.Skoglund, speaking to reporters for the first

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Eric Skoglund said Saturday that he doesn't know what he ingested that caused him to fail a drug test that led to an 80-game suspension for being in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Skoglund, speaking to reporters for the first time since the suspension, tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators S-22 (Ostarine) and LGD-4033 (Ligandrol), the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said in January.
Skoglund said he received news of the failed test last November and spent two agonizing months trying to determine what he took to fail the test before he finally notified the Royals.
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"I didn't change anything in my offseason that I did in any other," Skoglund said. "The only thing I did was eat cleaner.
"We have no idea. That's the hardest part. Something got in my body without me knowing. Very scary. It just makes you think what it could have been. It's just not knowing. I'm not a guy who is going to cheat the game. It's not the person I am. It's not how I was raised.
"I wish I had an answer. I mean, I went to a Smoothie King twice. I really don't know what it could have been. I tried to think of what I could have eaten that would have been out of the ordinary. But I think the most I did was eat Chick-fil-A and Chipotle -- one of the things [I was told] was [it was] fast-food related."
When learning of the test results, Skoglund chose to only tell his parents and his girlfriend.
"I couldn't imagine if I didn't have them for support," Skoglund said.
Eventually, Skoglund decided it was time to tell the Royals.

"I was pretty beat inside, so I decided to just tell them rather than appeal for another month," Skoglund said. "I just wanted to get it out there with [general manager] Dayton [Moore]."
When asked how that conversation went, Skoglund broke down as his eyes watered. He excused himself for a few minutes and left the room before returning to answer the question.
"It was a relief," Skoglund said. "I was going through a lot the last couple of months. I knew I didn't do anything maliciously. Just having Dayton's support, and him knowing who I am personally and knowing [how it felt] for me to have to accept an 80-game suspension. But it was a relief to finally tell someone in the organization and have his support. Definitely."
Skoglund, 26, went 1-6 with a 5.14 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) last season and likely would have competed for a rotation spot. He will be allowed to work out with the team during Spring Training, and then will stay in extended spring when camp breaks.
Skoglund can begin a two-week rehab assignment in the Minors prior to being activated from his suspension.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.