Can MLB Legally Ban Players From Using HGH/Steroids?

Morgan EdwardsContributor IMay 18, 2008

This won’t be long. I don’t profess to understand the nuances of MLB’s drug policy, or the specific effects steroids or human growth hormone have on performance.

The purpose of this is to pose a simple question: Does Major League Baseball have a legal right to ban its employees (the players) from using HGH/steroids?

U.S. prescription drug law has been written specifically to allow doctors tremendous laterality in determining the best course of action for treatment of a patient. This allows doctors to prescribe virtually any medication, even in completely "off label" applications.

The logic here is that doctors should be free to pursue what they consider the best treatment without interference by health-care providers or anybody else. Should MLB drug rules then be allowed to supersede federal law?

Perhaps a better question: Would you be comfortable if your employer had the ability to overrule a course of treatment laid out by your doctor?

This all assumes, of course, that the player uses HGH or steroids (we should also add testosterone here) under the guidance, and with a prescription, from his physician. Use of these drugs without a prescription is still a felony, and MLB certainly has a right to discipline employees who break U.S. law.