March 26, 2014

Baseball looks to toughen roiding penalties

I agree with the general idea of toughening sanctions to 100 games for a first offense and full season for the second, instead of the current 50 and 100 games.

But, with the loophole of reducing an inadvertent test to 25 games? Nuh-uh.

But ...

Update, March 28: The new agreement is in, and it looks like we won't have to worry about "inadvertent" testing.
Random urine samplings will more than double;
HGH testing will increase;
First suspension will be 80 games, second one a full year.

Players will get a chance to appeal on grounds that they weren't seeking a competitive edge. I guess this would be something like Andy Pettitte's use of HGH for healing?

Beyond a current case, like the Cardinals' new shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, there's been plenty of other players who originally claimed his bad test was inadvertent. Remember Barry Bonds, who alternated between saying he didn't know what was in the "clear" and the "cream" and that flaxseed oil did it? Remember Manny Ramirez claiming he had no idea how a woman's fertility drug got in his body? I'm surprised that Roger Clemens didn't claim that Brian McNamee mistook his butt for his wife's, as part of his claims. Sammy Sosa suddenly lost his command of the English language before Congress; would have made a good excuse as to not understanding his "personal trainer."

The ESPN link provides two more such examples:
Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended for 50 games in June 2012 for a Clostebol Metabolite, which he later claimed was contained in a foot cream he used. Reliever Guillermo Mota, then with San Francisco, was suspended for 100 games in May 2012 after taking a cough syrup with Clenbuterol.
And, I'm sure we could get more with easy digging.

Look at Ryan Braun and "chain-of-custody" claims on his first positive test. If a player sees a loophole, he's going to try to drive a Mack Truck through it.

That, in turn, leads to the question of burden of proof. Will an individual player have to prove his use was inadvertent, or will MLB have the burden of proof in showing it was deliberate?

As it is, all major sports have too liberal of loopholes for Adderall.

So, if that's the official "tradeoff" on the issue, unless the "inadvertent" is league-friendly, no thanks. Let's keep the current agreement.

No comments: