The MLB drug policy has come a long way. It has been rewritten three times, each time having stiffer penalties. Currently a player is suspended for 50 games without pay for the first positive test, 100 games for a second, and a lifetime ban if you’re a big enough idiot to keep doing PED’s after being caught twice. Pretty stiff, right?
Not in the eyes of the head honcho of the WADA.
The World Anti-Doping Association urged Major League Baseball on Wednesday to adopt its stricter policy of a two-year suspension if any player tests positively for the first time for using performance-enhancing drugs.
WADA, which rules over such tournaments as the World Baseball Classic and the Olympic baseball tournament, specifies a lifetime ban for a second offense.
“MLB, the players and all those involved in the league need to clearly demonstrate that they are committed to ridding their sport from doping,” WADA president John Fahey said in a statement Wednesday. “With recent cases, investigations and revelations, including in recently published books, the evidence is indisputable that doping remains an entrenched issue in baseball.”
And of course, MLB still doesn’t want to concede this point.
MLB Executive VP for Labor Relations Rob Manfred respectfully disagreed with the criticism.
“It is absurd to suggest that ‘recently published books’ — which allege steroid use that occurred years ago — have any relevance to our current program,” Manfred told the Associated Press. “As demonstrated by recent events, when a player tests positive, the penalty is public and severe.”
It seems that Mr. Manfred has failed to realize that those “public and severe” penalties aren’t really working. Yes, the number of failed tests are down (or at least the number that are reported). Yes, the athletes get a week of public ridicule and lose a lil cash. And yes, they have to play in the minors before their suspension is even up. But even with all that, it’s not truly working because players are still trying to beat the system. And not just any ole players. Stars are still trying to get away with using banned substances
In my opinion, if you really want to rid the game of PED’s, you adopt something like this. No one, if they’re smart, will risk being suspended for 2 years on their first drug test. Two years away from the game is almost a death sentence for a career. Should MLB care if they could possibly be ending the careers of some of it’s biggest stars? I say no. The game is and will always be bigger than its stars.
WADA head urges MLB to adopt its code (MLB.com)
No Guts, No Glory is a Sports Jabber Contributing Author.
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