Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement today regarding the recent violations of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program:
"I am saddened by the recent announcements of violations of baseball's drug program. Back in March, I said that everyone who tests positive will be suspended and that has come to pass. While I believe the suspensions show that the current program is working, they underscore the need for an even tougher policy. There is a deeper issue confronting baseball. It is the integrity of the game and that transcends the viability of the current program.
"There exists some doubt in the public sector about our sincerity in eliminating steroids from the game. That is wrong. We must create an understanding everywhere that when we say we need to rid the game of steroids, we mean it. The best way is to put in place the program that I proposed to the Players Association more than three months ago. We must increase the levels of discipline to 50 games for a first offense, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third. And, probably most important, we must turn over the administration of our program to an independent authority to, once and for all, end the debate about the transparency of our policy.
"The intensity that I feel about this issue is greater today than it has ever been and the time is past due for the Players Association to accept my proposal to eliminate steroids and other performance-enhancing substances from our game."