Friday, March 28, 2014

MLB Expands Drug Agreement

A few changes were made to the Major League Baseball Joint Drug Agreement. I've given those below, along with my thoughts of each...
  • Instead of there being 1,400 random urine tests a season, there will now be 3,200... more than double. And those tests are in addition to the ones players receive during Spring Training and the postseason.
The more testing the better.
  • In addition to the 1,200 mandatory collections conducted during Spring Training, the number of times blood will be collected for HGH detection will go up to 400. 
It was already the best blood testing program for HGH in professional sports, and it's now even better.
  • The penalties for violating the Joint Drug Program have been raise as well. A first time violation will go from a 50-game ban to 80 games, a second violation will go from 100 games up to 162 (as well as a loss of 183 days of pay), and a third violation will result in a player being permanently banned from baseball.
I never really understood the 50 and 100 game suspensions. They just seemed like they were numbers chosen because they are nice, round, numbers. A half-season, then full-season, ban seemed to make more sense. Then again, 80 games isn't technically half a season, so it's still a bit strange.
  • If a player is suspended for a JDA violation he will be ineligible to play in the postseason, nor will he be eligible to receive an automatic share of the Player's Pool for participating in the postseason. 
While others have said this doesn't make sense, as it not only hurts a player but also the team, I like it. A team may not be aware of a player's usage of PEDs, and therefore should not be punished for it, but why not? Shouldn't a team that's paying a player millions of dollars know if they are breaking such an important rule? Major League Baseball can't monitor the situation themselves... getting help from teams in order to avoid such a suspension can only help. 
  • Every player that is suspended for PED use will be subject to an additional 6 unannounced urine tests, and 3 more blood tests, every remaining year for the rest of his career.
Again... why wouldn't a player that failed a test be subject to more tests in the future? It only makes sense. Especially when you may have a player try to trick the system in the future, as his PED usage was a big reason he has a career in MLB.
  • A program will be implemented in which players will have year-round access to supplements that will not cause a positive test result.
This is big in my opinion, because it gives players a legal alternative. It's the same reason why after-school programs are important in keeping kids off the street or simply out of trouble. Don't just tell them not to do something, give them something else to do that is of benefit to them and/or the community.

There are a couple more additions to the Joint Drug Agreement that I didn't go over, but you can check out for yourself if you want to here.

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