01/13/2005 2:58 PM ET
MLB and Players Association reach tentative agreement on new steroid policy
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Donald M. Fehr today announced that an agreement in principle has been reached regarding a new policy on steroids and performance enhancing substances. The new agreement will have to be ratified by the 30 Clubs and the members of the Players Association after final contract language is agreed upon.
The agreement provides that every player will undergo at least one unannounced test on a randomly selected date during the playing season, and creates an additional program of testing randomly selected players. The agreement places no specific limit on the number of additional tests to which any player may randomly be subjected, and further includes random testing during the off-season, irrespective of a player's country of residence.
The agreement contains revised disciplinary penalties for positive test results, with first time offenders now being suspended for ten days. Second-time offenders will be suspended for 30 days. Third-time offenders will be suspended for 60 days. Fourth-time offenders will be suspended for one year. All suspensions will be without pay.
The agreement, when coupled with federal legislation going into effect this month, will broaden the list of banned substances in Baseball to include not only steroids, but steroid precursors and designer steroids such as THG, as well as masking agents and diuretics.
Commissioner Selig stated: "I am gratified that we were able to work with the Players Association to address an issue which threatened the confidence of our fans in the game. This policy is consistent with my stated goal of zero tolerance. I appreciate the Players Association's willingness to revisit this important issue during the term of the Basic Agreement even though it was under no legal obligation to do so. I would also like to thank President Bush for his leadership in focusing the attention of America on the problem of performance enhancing substances."
"Players care deeply about how fans of the game perceive it," Fehr said. "It was in that spirit that they agreed not to await expiration of a working Joint Drug Agreement before reviewing its impact on combatting any steroid use within the sport. This agreement, once finalized and ratified, will be testament to just how deeply the Players are committed to that effort."
The new policy, following ratification, will be effective for the 2005 season and will extend to 2008.