11/15/2005 2:31 PM ET
MLB, MLBPA announce new drug agreement
Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Players Association Executive Director Donald M. Fehr today announced an agreement in principal on a new policy on performance-enhancing substances, effective for the 2006 season. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.
The new agreement increases penalties applicable to players who test positive for steroids. First-time offenders will be suspended for 50 games. Second-time offenders will be suspended for 100 games. Third-time offenders will be banned for life. Players banned for life will have the opportunity to seek reinstatement after a minimum suspension of two years, with potential arbitral review of the decision on reinstatement.
The new agreement also will provide for random amphetamine testing in Major League Baseball. Players who test positive for amphetamines for the first time will be subject to mandatory evaluation and follow-up testing. Subsequent positive tests for amphetamines will carry suspensions of 25 games, 80 games and up to a lifetime ban.
Commencing next season, Major League Baseball also will increase the frequency of testing. Under the new policy, every player will be tested at least twice during the season. The program of year-round random testing will also be expanded. All players will remain subject to additional random tests (beyond the mandatory two tests) no matter how many times they have been tested.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association also agreed that the scheduling of tests, the collection of samples, the implementation of the parties' agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency Certified Laboratory and the reporting of positive tests results to the parties will be turned over to a new Independent Program Administrator, unaffiliated with either Major League Baseball or the Players Association. Previously, the Health Policy Advisory Committee, comprised of management and union representatives, was responsible for these tasks.
Commissioner Selig praised the new agreement stating: "This is an important step to reaching our goal of ridding our sport of performance-enhancing substances and should restore the integrity of and public confidence in our great game. I appreciate the effort put forward by the Players Association and our players in reaching this new agreement."
Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr stated: "This agreement reaffirms that Major League Players are committed to the elimination of performance-enhancing substances and that the system of collective bargaining is responsive and effective in dealing with issues of this type."
Summary of New Joint Drug Agreement
I. Penalties for Steroids
A. Test Results
1. First positive: 50 games
2. Second positive: 100 games
3. Third positive: Lifetime ban, subject to right to seek reinstatement after two years of suspension, with arbitral review of reinstatement decision.
B. Conviction for Possession
1. First offense - 60 to 80 games
2. Second offense - 120 games to 1 year
3. Third offense - Lifetime ban, subject to right to seek reinstatement after two years of suspension, with arbitral review of reinstatement decision.
C. Conviction for Distribution
1. First offense - 80 to 100 games
2. Second offense - Lifetime ban, subject to right to seek reinstatement after two years of suspension, with arbitral review of reinstatement decision.
A. Suspicionless testing for amphetamines and other amphetamine-like stimulants during regular season and post-season
B. Disciplinary schedule for positive tests
1. First positive: Mandatory follow-up testing
2. Second positive: 25 games
3. Third positive: 80 games
4. Fourth positive: Discipline imposed by the Commissioner up to and including a lifetime ban, with arbitral review.
C. Conviction of Possession
1. First offense: 15 to 30 games
2. Second offense: 30 to 90 games
3. Third offense: 1 year
4. Fourth offense: Discipline imposed by the Commissioner up to and including a lifetime ban, with arbitral review.
D. Conviction for Distribution
1. First offense: 60 - 90 games
2. Second offense: 2 years
3. Third offense: Discipline imposed by the Commissioner up to and including a lifetime ban, with arbitral review.
III. Frequency of Testing
A. Every player will have:
1. A pre-season test in connection with spring training physicals.
2. An unannounced test during the season on a randomly selected date
B. There will be additional, year-round random testing
1. No matter how many times a player is tested, he remains subject to an additional random test
2. Testing will occur during the off-season
IV. Independent Administrator
A. Health Policy Advisory Committee ("HPAC") responsibilities reduced substantially.
B. An independent person, not affiliated with Baseball or the Major League Baseball Players Association, will be responsible for:
1. The scheduling of tests
2. Supervision of the collection process
3. Transportation of samples to the WADA-Certified Laboratory
4. Oversight of the laboratory
5. Reporting of positives
V. Governmental Investigations --
A. Agreement expressly recognizes the parties' cooperation with Congressional investigations.