Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association announced Friday changes that are being made to the league’s discipline policy on players who test positive for using performance-enhancing drugs.
One of the new features is that any player suspended for using a PED during the regular season will be ineligible to play in the postseason if their team makes it that far, according to USA Today.
In the 2013 season Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta was suspended for 50 games during the regular season and was eligible to play in the postseason for the Tigers and played very well. Had this rule been in effect last year, Peralta would not have been allowed to play and that may have changed how well the Tigers did in the playoffs in 2013.
MLB and the MLBPA also announced that players found guilty of using a PED will be suspended for a longer period of time.
A player’s first positive test will result in an 80 game suspension, increased from 50 games under the old policy. A second violation results in a season-long 162 game suspension, up from 100 games previously. A third violation’s discipline will stay the same as the previous policy, a lifetime ban from MLB, according to ESPN.
It was also announced that both random blood and urine testing will take place more often under the new policy. In-season urine testing will rise from 1,400 to 3,200 overall, each player will have to be tested a minimum of two times during the season. Offseason testing will also increase from 250 to 350 overall tests, ESPN reports.
ESPN also reports that there will be 400 random blood tests to test for use of human growth hormone in spring training with at least one mandatory test for each player.
These new drug policies make it clear that Major League Baseball and the players’s association are trying hard to make this sport a clean sport again.