MLB, players agree on Joint Drug Agreement

Talking numbers with Johnny Damon
Horne out with biceps tear

The MLB and MLBPA have come to terms on new drug policies pursuant to the findings in the Mitchell Report. For starters, all fines imposed through this plan will be donated to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, as well as the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The players will also make a $200,000 donation “to an anti-drug charitable or research organization.” Yes, yes, but what about the new regulations?

1. Increased Independence – the Independent Program Administrator (“IPA”) is appointed for a multiyear term and can be removed only in very narrow circumstances.

2. Increased Transparency – the IPA [ed. note: not to be confused with delicious India Pale Ale] will annually and publicly report key statistics related to the program and record retention requirements will be lengthened.

3. Testing – 600 additional tests will be conducted each year and the number of off-season tests will double on average.

4. Flexibility – the agreement institutionalizes an annual review process to allow the parties to respond to new developments.

5. Education – the IPA, in consultation with the parties, will develop an annual mandatory education program for players.

6. Amateur Draft – Baseball’s testing program will be expanded to cover top prospects.

So are these changes going to revolutionize how MLB polices drug activity?

At least Selig was speaking some sense:

“It is time for the game to move forward. There is little to be gained at this point in debating dated misconduct and enduring numerous disciplinary proceedings. Educating children and their parents about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances is a much more productive endeavor.”

I can’t disagree with any part of that.

Talking numbers with Johnny Damon
Horne out with biceps tear
  • Count Zero

    One has to wonder…why would MLB publicly refer to a “Drug Agreement” using the term “Joint”? :-) Somebody in PR needs to think more clearly…

    • Joseph P.

      3 for 3 on responses to this thread :)

      In this one, I note that I thought the exact same thing. Gee, wonder what I’m doing tonight.

  • ceciguante

    the program summary mentions “increased transparency” as reporting more “key statistics related to the program,” but is there no increase in enforcement / penalties for individual players testing positive?

    meaning, is the rule that a first offense is anonymous — and without penalty — going to remain in place?

    tell me it’s not so.

    • Joseph P.

      That relates to amphetamines. And from what I’m reading, the rules haven’t changed there.

  • Mike A.

    Wow, expanding testing to include top prospects is HUGE. Those players aren’t in the union yet, why should they be subject to testing? Why stop at top prospects? It’s bad if David Price takes steriods, but not if Ben Revere does? Why should Andrew Brackman take a test if Adam Olbrychowski doesn’t?

    MLB overstepped it’s bounds here. What those players do as amateurs is none of MLB’s business. If you think a kid a using, then don’t draft him.

    Why don’t they just tap their phones and read their email too? Holy crap. Ridiculous.

    • Joseph P.

      Yeah. The term “top prospect” is the height of ambiguity.