Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Baseball stiffens rules on steroids

New 3-strikes policy sets suspensions of 50 games, 100 games, potential lifetime ban.


Major League Baseball and its players union agreed to harsher steroid penalties yesterday, more than three months after the Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro became the sport's highest-profile player to be suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Instead of waiting for Congress to define testing procedures, punishments and banned substances, Major League Baseball and the Players Association announced an agreement that is expected to be ratified overwhelmingly by both sides and take effect next season.


"This has not only been a historic day in baseball but a very meaningful one," commissioner Bud Selig said in an evening teleconference........


Under baseball's new proposal, which is nearly identical to one Selig suggested in April, a first-time suspension for failing a drug test would increase from 10 days to 50 games. A second positive test would result in a 100-game suspension, up from 30 days, and a third would warrant a potential lifetime ban instead of the 60-day suspension now in place. After two years, a player banned for life could apply for reinstatement.

Players would now undergo urine testing once during spring training physicals, at least once during the season and again in the offseason. Under the prior agreement, players were tested once between the spring and season's end and again in the offseason. Twelve players, including Palmeiro, failed the tests in 2005. If one of the 12 players tests positive again in 2006, the penalty would be 50 games instead of the 100 now proposed for a second offense because of the major change in policy, said Robert Manfred, executive vice president of Major League Baseball.

The new plan adds amphetamines to the banned list, and mandates that all testing, specimen collection, lab supervision and reporting of positives now be handled by an independent administrator.

During his investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, Selig said he was most alarmed by information that amphetamines - commonly referred to as "greenies" - were prevalent throughout major league clubhouses. A former athletic trainer with the Texas Rangers told Congress that one of his players said eight Rangers starters used amphetamines one season.

If a player tests positive for amphetamines, he would be subjected to mandatory follow-up testing. A second positive urine test would result in a 25-game suspension, a third in an 80-game suspension and a fourth could mean a lifetime ban.

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said it was difficult enough to endure Palmeiro's 10-day suspension in August and the scrutiny that went with it. A 50-game penalty would affect a suspended player and his club "tremendously," Perlozzo said.

"It's basically like a two-month injury, and not only that, but you ruin your relationship with your teammates. And to me, that's a more important thing. ... Only a person that doesn't care about his career would get into it now," Perlozzo said. "I would think this should pretty much take care of the problem." -
Sun Sentinel

Read the entire article here.

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This is great for baseball. For the past several years, the "penalties" for taking steroids have been laughable. Last year, a player could take steroids, in other words cheat, and have a cheap 10-game suspension. Now MLB is getting serious. These penalties will be heard by baseball players and will scare many of them out of using banned substances. But the best part of these new rules is that testing will be more frequent. I think this will really help baseball at least minimize it's steroids problem. Any thoughts?

7 Comments:

  • This is great for baseball. I think the penalties should be very harsh for cheating and would be in favor of even harsher panalties if that was proposed. I don't mean to sound mean, but I absolutely do not like cheaters, especially in sports.

    Matt

    By Blogger Matt A., at 10:55 PM  

  • I absolutely agree. By taking steroids, they are cheating, and by cheating, they are ruining the sport.

    By Blogger MVB, at 4:01 PM  

  • Absolutely!

    By Blogger Matt A., at 10:14 PM  

  • My comment really has nothing to do with this post, but I just read your profile and discovered you're homeschooled and a Calvinist! Cool! Me too! It's great to have your theology down... especially at your age!

    By Blogger Carey, at 9:20 PM  

  • Thanks, Carey.....

    By Blogger MVB, at 2:41 PM  

  • Most ballplayers today are taking homeopathic hgh oral spray because it's safe, undetectable, and legal for over the counter sales. As time goes on it seems it might be considered as benign a performance enhancer as coffee, aspirin, red bull, chewing tobacco, and bubble gum.

    By Blogger Billy, at 4:13 PM  

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