MOBILE, AL - APRIL 14: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (L) talks with Billye Aaron, wife of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron during ceremonies opening of the Hank Aaron Museum at the Hank Aaron Stadium on April 14, 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
While progress has been made in the last few years, performance-enhancing drugs continue to be a huge problem in Major League Baseball, leading commissioner Bud Selig to advocate for harsher changes.
Selig told reporters on Saturday that he wants to implement stricter punishments for players testing positive for banned substances. The push for tougher penalties stems from last season’s suspension of Melky Cabrera and the MLB’s latest drug investigation of players allegedly seeking PEDs from the Biogenesis facility in South Florida.
“I have been interested in stiffer penalties for some time,” Selig said. “We’ve made meaningful adjustments to our testing, and it is time to make meaningful adjustments to our penalties.”
Under the current agreement, initial infractions result in a 50-game suspension, second offenses warrant a 100-game suspension and players who test positive a third time receive a lifetime ban.
Selig’s announcement comes shortly after the agreement the MLB and MLBPA reached in January — adding random blood tests for human growth hormone throughout the regular season.
Selig wants the stiffer penalties put into action as soon as possible, but because the drug-testing rules for 2013 are already set, this will most likely be an issue for the 2014 season.