CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta brushed off speculation that steroid use has contributed to a spectacular run of 24 consecutive quality starts, a 20-1 record and two no-hitters since last June.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday prior to the start of a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs right-hander said there’s no mystery surrounding his physical condition and success.
“I eat plants and I eat lean protein and that’s my gig,” said Arrieta, who tossed a no-hitter last Thursday at Cincinnati. “I watch what I eat and I train properly. That’s no secret. My mom’s 6-1 and my dad’s 6-4, so I’m going to be big. I do Pilates, I strength train with heavy weights occasionally and this is the result.”
There has been some speculation on social media but no one has publicly accused Arrieta of steroid abuse.
He carries a 4-0 record and a 0.87 ERA into Wednesday’s scheduled start against the Brewers.
Arrieta has been frequently tested for banned substances and said he has no problem with more tests. He also frowns on players who do use steroids and other illegal substances.
“With what’s at stake some people are willing to take the risk, and that’s why the drug program is what it is and it is tough,” Arrieta said. “Guys will still attempt to beat the system and I think it’s becoming harder and harder to do so. And it should be.”
Arrieta said he leans toward heavier penalties for proven steroid users.
“If it’s a blatant attempt to cheat the system with a serious steroid, then maybe so,” he said. “If me and my teammates and guys we are competing against — the majority of us are doing it the right way — then we expect everybody to be on the same page.”