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05/11/2004  2:24 PM ET
MLB drug-testing programs move to Olympic-certified laboratories
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Major League Baseball announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association to move the testing under the Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) certified testing facility located in Montreal, Canada, effective immediately.

Additionally, Major League Baseball has moved the testing under the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program to a WADA-certified testing facility located in Los Angeles, California.

"This agreement is another important step in bringing Major League Baseball more in line with accepted international standards," said Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President of Labor Relations for Major League Baseball. "Through the recent completion of a drug-testing regimen for a potential international baseball tournament and by moving the testing program to a WADA-certified laboratory, we, together with the Players Association, provide a tangible demonstration of our commitment to a more stringent and effective drug prevention program at the Major League level.

"With its testing also moved to a WADA-certified laboratory, we believe the Minor League drug-testing program will continue to help eradicate the use of performance-enhancing substances."

"There are tangible benefits to players in the utilization of a WADA-certified laboratory, particularly in the area in which they have been at the forefront, the promotion and development of baseball worldwide," said Gene Orza, Chief Operating Officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "This is an important step on this road."

"I am pleased to provide our institute's support and expertise to Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program," said Dr. Christiane Ayotte, head of the Doping Control Laboratory at the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Center. "We strongly believe the measures taken in this agreement are vital steps in the continued effort to insure the long-term health and safety of the athletes."

"The UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory is pleased to accept the testing duties for Major League Baseball's Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program," said Dr. Don Catlin, Director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

"The features of this Program demonstrate Major League Baseball's commitment to creating a strong anti-doping element in their sport. We look forward to working with our new partners in Major League Baseball to make this Program a great success."

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