MLB, Players Union Announce HGH Testing

Patrick McDermott

Commissioner Bud Selig and Players Union head Michael Weiner are announcing Thursday afternoon a tough new set of tests for performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

If you think Major League Baseball isn't serious about PED usage, think again. The league, and the MLB Players Association are announcing Thursday a tough new system of testing which will test for, among other things, human growth hormone. Here are some of the highlights:
The expansion of baseball’s drug-testing program puts the sport substantially ahead of the National Football League, which still does not test for H.G.H. and does not have a comparable testosterone test.

When the original agreement was announced, both sides said they would look into expanding the testing program for 2O13, which they have now done. As a result, there will now be in-season testing for H.G.H., a substance that can help players build muscle mass and recover quickly from extended physical activity but which cannot be legally used without a prescription.

The new agreement, which is likely to be announced on Thursday, also establishes a new testing regimen for testosterone, a substance that is believed to have grown in popularity within baseball because it quickly leaves a player’s system after being used. 

The new test will establish baseline levels of testosterone in players, creating a so-called longitudinal profile of each player’s testosterone ratio. Additional tests will be conducted on player samples that are onsidered outside their baselines to determine whether the player has used a performance-enhancing drug.
According to ESPN.com, the large number of positive PED tests last year got the attention of both MLB and the players union:
There were eight player suspensions in baseball in 2O12, the most since 2OO7. [Players union chief Michael] Weiner said recently that the increased number of positive tests "caught the attention of both sides."

This is a worthy effort on the part of both parties, in my opinion. We'll see if it has any long-term impact.

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