MLB Asks USADA to Assist in Investigating Al Jazeera's Doping Allegations

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2016

Oct 14, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a baseball on the field at Kauffman Kauffman Stadium prior to game five of the ALDS between the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball has requested the assistance of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), as it investigates the claims made in the Al Jazeera documentary, "The Dark Side," that several players received banned substances, per T.J. Quinn of  

"We've had discussions with USADA and are hopeful that together we can make progress in this investigation," said Dan Halem, MLB's chief legal officer, per Quinn.

The NFL won't be joining the MLB and USADA partnership, however, per Quinn.

“Our review of the matter continues,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Quinn, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “We do not comment on specifics of ongoing reviews.”

In the documentary, Charlie Sly was recorded saying he provided various banned substances to NFL and MLB players. He later recanted those claims, however, though the documentary did show Sly and Chicago Cubs catcher Taylor Teagarden speaking, during which time Teagarden revealed he did receive substances from Sly.

Per Quinn's report, that has led investigators to believe Sly may have fabricated some, but not all, of the claims made in Al Jazeera's documentary.

Meanwhile, two MLB players named in the documentary, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, have since filed lawsuits against Al Jazeera America.

For MLB, USADA's extensive resources and experience within the world of doping would be an obvious aid to its investigation in this matter. The rampant steroid use that marked a generation of baseball players remains one of the biggest controversies and black eyes in MLB history, so incorporating an entity like USADA to aid in this current investigation is a logical step for the league.