Bud Selig has issued a call for even tougher penalties when it comes to those caught using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Major League Baseball is still trying to dig itself out of an explosion of use of drugs like steroids and synthetic testosterone that has seen some of the game’s biggest stars get outed as “cheaters.”
In response to names like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi testing positive for PEDs, Major League Baseball was able to implement testing for an even wider variety of performance enhancing drugs.
As Major League Baseball’s commissioner, Selig doesn’t believe that the league has gone far enough yet in stomping out the problem. ESPN.com is reporting that Selig announced his intention to seek harsher punishment for abusers of PEDs on Saturday.
Bud Selig pointed to recent cases like Melky Cabrera’s positive PED test last year as reasons to come up with stricter punishments for those offenses moving forward. Selig also said that he has been a proponent of stiffer penalties for quite a while and that now is the time to implement them.
It is unclear how much more strict the penalties could be. NBCSports points out that the penalty for a first positive test for PEDs results in a 50 game suspension. A second test results in a 100 game suspension. A third positive test would result in a lifetime ban from the game.
No player has tested positive three times since the program was instituted in 2006. The commissioner said that of 5,000 players tested last year, only five actually hit a positive. He added that he wasn’t sure the sport would ever be able to get to zero, but he wanted to get as close as possible.
Players Union representative Michael Werner said that the players had been talking about stricter penalties for a while now but that a consensus hadn’t been reached yet. Bud Selig hasn’t said what penalties he is actually look for in what would be a stricter program.