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.