Via CBS -
Major League Baseball is set to announce unprecedented measures against HGH (human growth hormone), reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The announcement will take place by commissioner Bud Selig at the owners meetings in Arizona Thursday.
Beginning this season, MLB will conduct random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for HGH. MLB will also keep detailed records on T/E (testosterone to epitestosterone) ratios to combat questions about testosterone levels. All players will be tested at least once.
Punishments will be the same as the punishments for steroids, which is a 50-game suspension for the first positive test, a 100-game suspension for the second positive test and a third positive test will result in a lifetime ban from the game.
In July of 2010, minor leaguers began facing HGH tests and then last offseason — with the new collective bargaining agreement — MLB started HGH testing during the offseason, in spring training and with “reasonable cause” cases.
Now everyone is on notice all the time.
If this sounds like an obvious step, it’s still a first step. Plus, Major League Baseball will become the first major U.S. sport with such testing in place.
Also of note here is that for years the MLB Players Association was averse to any sort of testing whatsoever, but in the past two years — under the leadership of Michael Weiner, who took over as executive director in December of 2009 — significant strides have been made in the effort to clean up the game. To be clear, a testing plan was implemented on the watch of Don Fehr, but under Weiner things have been taken to a new level.
Well, this could be interesting…