Bud Selig Believes MLB's Drug Penalties Should Be More Strict

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IMarch 3, 2013

MLB has heightened awareness and discipline for performance-enhancing drugs. Bud Selig wants penalties for offenders to be even fiercer.

That's the latest from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who reports that baseball's commissioner is ready to start stiffening what's already a "three strikes and you're out" program for violators of MLB's PED policies.

Although Selig did not fully elaborate on what those penalties would be or how they would be enforced, Selig noted that sweeping changes are coming, and coming fast:

My view is that it should be done as expeditiously as possible...We've made meaningful adjustments to our testing and now the time has come to make meaningful adjustments to our penalties. I feel very strongly about this. This is for the best interest of this sport, and everybody in it.

MLB's current system gives players three chances to avoid using steroids and other drugs on the league's banned list of substances (via MLB.com).

The first offense merits a 50-game suspension, the second a 100-game ban and the third offense could invoke a lifetime ban from professional baseball. As noted by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, Selig is looking to up the first offense penalty and thinks three strikes is far too many—among other potential changes:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Selig says he wants more games than 50 for 1st offense, suggests 3 strikes too many. "I would change everything."

Although current penalties are tenfold better than what they were at the height of the Mark McGwire/Barry Bonds scandals, they still give plenty of room to offenders looking to fool the system.

Recent stories of PED use in baseball haven't helped dissuade that opinion.

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and others made headlines during the offseason for their alleged involvement in a Miami clinic (via the Miami New Times) that specialized in cheating the system, and each is undergoing an extensive review process by MLB as a result.

Additionally, Melky Cabrera was a National League MVP candidate last season for the San Francisco Giants before the discovery of PEDs in his system. Now, his stellar season is under fire, and there are some that don't believe his improvement had anything to do with baseball skill—just steroids.

Selig is out to make sure his players are punished for cheating.

MLB has drawn heat for not acting sooner when it knew of cheating, but it appears the baseball commissioner will do everything in his power to heighten awareness, prove that the league is trying to get rid of steroids for good and hopefully scare off those interested in juicing in the process.