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New deal on steroid testing


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Updated: 07:18 AM EST
Baseball Owners, Players Reach Deal on Steroid Testing
Change From Current System Will Publicly Identify First-Time Offenders

NEW YORK (Jan. 12) - Baseball players and owners have reached an agreement on a tougher steroid-testing program that will include a penalty for first-time offenders, The Associated Press has learned.

A first positive test would result in a suspension of up to 10 days and the penalties would increase to a one-year suspension for a fourth positive test, a high-ranking team official said on condition of anonymity.

Under the previous agreement, a first positive test resulted only in treatment, and a second positive test was subject to a 15-day suspension. Only with a fifth positive test was a player subject to a one-year ban under the old plan.

Commissioner Bud Selig, asked about a steroid agreement at the owners meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., declined comment but did say an announcement would be made Thursday. Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer, also declined comment.

Baseball will regard the suspensions for first-time offenses as a big first step because steroids users are likely to be publicly identified - all other baseball suspensions, such as for on-field offenses, are by games, not days.

However, the penalty falls far short of the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, which has been adopted by most Olympic sports. It says the "norm" is two-year bans for a first positive test and a lifetime ban for a second, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

"I'm glad we could come to an agreement," said Chicago Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger, who was briefed on the deal Wednesday. "It was the right thing to do. I think it was something that needed to be done, and I think players understand it needed to be addressed."

The sides spent the past month negotiating the deal after the union's executive board gave its staff approval to pursue an agreement on a more rigorous testing program. Some in Congress threatened to take action unless baseball reached an agreement on its own.

"I think it's going to entail more testing, some out-season testing, yes, more in-season random testing and stiffer penalties," said New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, a senior member of the union.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said he anticipated confirmation of a deal by the end of the owners' meeting.

"It will be wonderful once it's done, but I don't want to pre-empt any announcement, and I certainly don't want to pre-empt all the work the commissioner has done on this, so I'll reserve my comments until after it's announced," he said.

Tony Clark, another senior union leader, said public questions about steroid use had caused players to think about a tougher agreement.

"The integrity of our game was beginning to come under fire, and there are too many great players, past and present, that deserve to be celebrated for their ability to play this game at a very high level," the free-agent first baseman said in an e-mail to the AP. "If a stricter drug policy brings that level of appreciation back, we felt that it was worth pursuing."

Players and owners agreed to a drug-testing plan in 2002 that called for survey-testing for steroids the following year. Because more than 5 percent of tests were positive, random testing with penalties began last year. Each player was tested for steroids twice over a single five- to seven-day period.

A first positive test resulted in treatment. If a player tested positive again, he would have been subject to a 15-day suspension.

No player was suspended for steroid use in 2004.

The new program is slightly less harsh than the policy for players with minor league contracts, who are suspended 15 games for a first positive test. Only players with major league contracts are covered by the union's agreement, while baseball can unilaterally decide the policy for others.

Since the 2002 agreement, baseball has come under increased scrutiny for steroid use. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield testified before a federal grand jury in December 2003. Giambi and Sheffield admitted using steroids, according to reports by the San Francisco Chronicle. Sheffield said he wasn't aware when he used the substances that they contained steroids.

Bonds, according to the paper, admitted using substances prosecutors say contained steroids.

"Everybody believed that the program we had in place was having an effect and definitely it was doing what it designed to do," Glavine said, "but having said that, with the stuff that was going on and whatnot, it forced us to take a look at revising it or making it a little tougher. It was not a question anymore if that agreement was going to be enough. It was a question to address some of the new issues that came to light and get our fans to believe we were doing everything we could to make the problem go away 100 percent."

AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Scottsdale, Ariz., contributed to this report.

01/13/05 00:54 EST
it takes FOUR postitive tests for you to be suspended for a year? im glad the 10 commandments werent written by these guys.

Thou shalt not kill more than a few people or I will get upset and make you sit in time out for 5 minutes.
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Honor&Glory said:

Just another example of how Major League Baseball is broken. Can you see the day coming when all we will have is the NBA and the NFL?
hopefully the day after that we will only have the nfl, and ncaa sports. and hockey comes back too.
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A first positive test would result in a suspension of up to 10 days and the penalties would increase to a one-year suspension for a fourth positive test, a high-ranking team official said on condition of anonymity.
This is the end result of all their negotiating? Its a joke....4 strikes and then its a year? In my opinion this part falls way short of what needed to be done.

"Everybody believed that the program we had in place was having an effect and definitely it was doing what it designed to do," Glavine said,
He has to be joking right? I guess he was partially right, the program they had pretty much did nothing and it had zero effect.

Why is baseball like 25 years behind the other major sports in the areas of drug testing, salary cap and common sense?
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It should be a month, a year, a lifetime.

3 strikes and you're out, right?

Just like Steve Howe - although apparently he fouled off four or five pitches. :!
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