MLB halts steroid testing for the first time in nearly 20 years

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball stopped testing players for steroids for the first time in nearly 20 years due to the expiration of the sport’s anti-drug agreement, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The people spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because no public announcement was made.

The disruption to testing is a consequence of the lockdown that began Dec. 2 and a provision in the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ association that states “the end date and time of the program shall be 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1, 2021.”

“It should be of great concern to everyone who values ​​fair play,” Travis Tygart, executive director of the US Anti-Doping Agency, said Monday.

MLB and the union declined to comment on the suspension.

Last month, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied Hall of Fame election by baseball writers on suspicion of using PEDs. Manny Ramírez and Alex Rodríguez, who served drug suspensions, fell short in the vote.

Without fear of detection, it is difficult to predict whether some players will attempt to use PEDs in the period before a new collective bargaining agreement is put in place along with the restoration of the drug testing program.

“You could easily do what cyclists were doing, even in a good testing program, which was microdose testosterone,” Tygart said.

Baseball reached its first joint drug agreement in late 2002, an agreement that called for polling evidence in 2003.

Urine testing for PEDs with penalties for violations began in 2004 under a series of repeatedly stricter drug agreements. Testing for banned amphetamines began in 2006, and blood tests for human growth hormone began in 2012, though they were suspended last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In December 2007, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell issued a report commissioned by MLB implicating 85 players in PED use, including seven MVPs and 31 All-Stars. Many denied the accusations.

While prominent players suspended under the drug program include Rafael Palmeiro (2005), Ramírez (2009 and 2011), Rodríguez (2014) and Robinson Cano (2014), there were only five positives for PEDs among 8,436 tests in the year that ended with the 2021 World Series: The Miami pitcher Paul CampbellOakland outfielder Ramón Laureano, Seattle pitcher Héctor Santiago, San Francisco pitcher Daniel Santos and Colorado third baseman Colton Welker.

The stoppage of tryouts in baseball was pointed out to players in a “Work Stoppage Guide” created by the Major League Baseball Players Association and distributed to its members, a copy of which was obtained by the AP.

We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this incredible material

MLB halts steroid testing for the first time in nearly 20 years