MLB and the MLBPA have been discussing potentially expanding the league’s drug testing policy, and now union head Michael Weiner indicates that an agreement on expanded testing would seem to be on the way.
Weiner says the union and MLB have spoken about adding in-season tests for human growth hormone next year. There also is discussion about making the tests more sophisticated for all performance-enhancing drugs.
The devil is in the details, I suppose, and though I don’t particularly care much about those scary, scary, arbitrarily banned substances, drug testing is something that’s between the league and the union. If the players want more testing and more “sophisticated” tests (which I find to be rather questionable language, but that’s not really my area of expertise) that’s there business. I do, however, find the apparent reasoning for this to be rather strange:
Earlier this week, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz became the eighth player suspended this year under the big league drug program. The eight bans are the most since 2007 and Weiner said the increased number of positive tests has “caught the attention of both sides.”
Again, the parameters of testing really shouldn’t matter much to anyone beyond the league and the players, but I don’t really get the logic in thinking that there’s some sort of problem because the current process is catching more people who breaks the rules. If anything, that tells me that things are working as they should. I guess the endgame here is some sort of utopia where no big league players are breaking the rules but, a) that’s pretty unrealistic, as evidenced by the fact that all laws are broken by some people, b) even if you were to reach that point, the absence of anyone testing positive (we’ll put false positives aside for now) would just prompt the drug hysterics to scream that the program wasn’t working because it wasn’t catching any cheaters. The union ought to be very careful about how sensitive they are to playing PR games they can’t ever win.