Major League Baseball will implement more stringent testing for human growth hormone (HGH) and synthetic testosterone this season according to MLB.com and other media outlets.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, players previously could only be blood tested for HGH during Spring Training, but under a new agreement between management and the players union, random HGH screening will take place throughout the regular season. Players are already subject to union testing all year round.
ESPN explains how the new testing program will be structured:
“Under the changes to baseball’s drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, and will conduct Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) tests of any urine specimens that ‘vary materially.’
” …Christiane Ayotte, director of the Canadian laboratory, said that the addition of random blood testing and a ‘longitudinal profiling program makes baseball’s program second to none in detecting and deterring the use of synthetic HGH and testosterone.’ “
In part because of allegations that many star players were on steroids, no one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said today the additional testing program had been in the works for some time, however. He announced the new program in Paradise Valley, Ariz., the site of the MLB owners meeting.
According MLB.com, this modification of the union contract has great significance:
“Getting players to agree to offseason and Spring Training testing for HGH in the current CBA was a major breakthrough and expanding that keeps baseball on the forefront of attempting to eliminate the use of performance-enhancing substances.”
Do you think professional baseball will be able to rid itself of PED cheating through enhanced testing?