According to limited news sources, Major League Baseball announced changes to the MLB drug testing program for 2014 March 28. There was little coverage of this in the media, only a few sources including NBC's Hardball.com, the Los Angeles Times and a few local newspapers which ran stories largely innacurate and incomplete. Which makes us wonder if people really care or are burned out on the subject of #performing enhancing drugs (#PEDs) and drug testing in baseball.
News sources like the Los Angeles Times report general player happiness with the new plan, of which the main feature considered by most is the added 30 game suspension (from 50 games to 30 games) for a first conviction. The problem is that if the tests are lacking it doesn't matter how many days the suspension; players will not be caught if these tests cannot detect the designer drugs (like the most popular one for testosterone) players have been using of late which are said to be undetectable to current MLB drug tests. There was a reported upgrade in the test for #HGH (#human growth hormone), as only the Hardball article even bothered to consider, but nothing to address the testosterone, which besides being undetectable is also said to be gone from ones system within hours after use. On top of that the test for testosterone was noted to be given as little as once to each player once during the entire season, last year, and we see nothing changed
Note that were were ZERO suspensions last year on the major league level after only 5 the previous year(two against the San Francisco Giants players). Baseball Commissioner Selig and MLB will tell you that this is because baseball is cleaner now, but we see it as because baseball testing has still not caught up to the players' designer drugs, particularly the testosterone. The man perhaps most knowledgeable of PEDs and who went to jail for dispensing them himself, has admitted, himself that baseball has lagged behind and even suggested the appropriate test for testosterone. To our knowledge, still nothing as been done.As a result you see World Series in recent years being affected by players likely using PEDs. San Francisco, Detroit and Boston all likely benefitted from drug use; one player, Jhonny Peralta was allowed back for the playoffs with Detroit after a mid season drug suspension, only to .417 in the playoffs, perhaps single-handedly knocking out the Oakland A's from the playoffs. Note also players well into the latter stages of their careers recently getting huge contracts based on stats likely inflated by drug use, in our opinion (and should be anyone's opinion when one looks at the unlikely stats ala Barry Bonds achieving sudden late career success. Then there are the younger players, like Peralta, who don't have track records to compare.
In reacting to the new drug laws , players interviewed , such as Manager Bob Melvin and Jed Lowrie of the Oakland As, seemed to express positive reactions, noting , again, the lengthened suspension. No comment from the San Francisco Giants. Certainly players who are still using testosterone will be happy, as they will not have to worry about 80 games or 50 games since they will likely never be found out.
According to the article in Hardball.com,
'The enhanced testing procedures
- The number of in-season random urine collections will more than double beginning in the 2014 season, from 1,400 total tests to to 3,200;
- Blood collections for hGH detection will increase to 400 random collections per year, in addition to the 1,200 mandatory collections conducted during Spring Training;
- Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry tests will be randomly performed on at least one specimen from every player. Basically, this is an enhanced analysis of blood samples which are considered more effective in detecting hGH in blood and are tests endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
- A first-time violation of the Joint Drug Program will now result in an unpaid 80-game suspension, increased from 50 games. A player’s second violation will result in an unpaid 162-game suspension, increased from 100 games. A third violation will result in a permanent suspension from Baseball.
- A suspension of 162 games will result in 183 days worth of pay docking, to account for the fact that players are paid baed on a 183-day schedule as opposed to being paid per game. This was implemented in reaction to Alex Rodriguez still receiving some pay this year despite a 162-game ban.
- Every Player whose suspension for a performance-enhancing substance is upheld will be subject to six additional unannounced urine collections, and three additional unannounced blood collections, during every subsequent year of his entire career.
Many anti-doping experts already viewed Major League Baseball as having the toughest drug testing regime in all of U.S. team sports. This only increases baseball’s lead in this regard.
It does, however, present some reasons for concern. As we at HBT argued this morning, the playoff ban for those players who tested positive and have already served their entire suspensions seems somewhat draconian and will result in harsher penalties for players on winning teams than those on losing teams. It also punishes innocent players on playoff teams in ways the previous system did not before. Moreover, merely adding games to first and second offenses may make everyone feel like the system is tougher, but it must not be assumed that the same basic incentive to cheat — if a player can get away with it, it could mean millions of dollars — will always persist. We execute murderers yet murder still occurs.'
HGH, #steroids, Drug Testing, #PEDs, peds, testosterone, MLB, baseball drug testing, Human Growth Hormone, Drug Testing, Biogenesis, New York Yankees, Alex Rodrigues, san francisco giants,
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