Paradise Valley, AZ (Sports Network) - Major League Baseball and the Major
League Baseball Players Association announced Thursday they will start random,
unannounced in-season human growth hormone blood testing.
The new policy will start in the 2013 season and will expand on the league's
current policy regarding HGH.
The MLB and MLBPA's previous joint drug prevention and treatment program
allowed for each player to be subject to an unannounced blood test during
spring training and an unannounced, random test in the offseason.
Major League Baseball has been randomly testing its minor league players for
HGH since July 2010 and is now the only major North American sport to blood
test unionized players.
"The players are determined to do all they can to continually improve the
sport's joint drug agreement," MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said.
"players want a program that is tough, scientifically accurate, backed by the
latest proven scientific methods, and fair; I believe these changes firmly
support the players' desires while protecting their legal rights."
Records will also be kept on T/E (testosterone to epitestosterone) ratios in
players to prevent the unauthorized use of synthetic testosterone.
The league will use the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited Montreal
Laboratory to record a player's baseline T/E ratio, which will be
confidentially maintained for comparisons.
"This agreement addresses critical drug issues and symbolizes Major League
Baseball's continued vigilance against synthetic human growth hormone,
testosterone and other performance-enhancing substances," MLB commissioner Bud
Selig said. "I am proud that our system allows us to adapt to the many
evolving issues associated with the science and technology of drug testing.
We will continue to do everything we can to maintain a leadership stature in
anti-doping efforts in the years ahead."
Every player will be tested at least once during the season and the
punishments for a player to be found using HGH or testosterone will be the
same for steroids, which is a 50-game suspension for the first offense, a 100-
game suspension for the second offense and a lifetime ban for the third
The Sports Network