MLB could start in-season testing for human growth hormone next year.
Each player was given a blood test for HGH in spring training as part of the labor agreement that was concluded to in Nov., which allows blood testing during the offseason and spring training, and if there’s reasonable cause.
Union head Michael Weiner, speaking to the BBWAA before Tuesday night’s All-Star game, announced players will be discussing whether to grow testing to the regular season next year. Basketball odds
“We have just elected, as we do in June of even-number years, a new executive board, a new group of player reps, and over the second 1/2 the season we’ll be attempting to generate what the consensus is,” Weiner related.
“There is at least a definite possibility, I’m not going to envision which way it may go, but there’s at least a chance that we may have in-season testing of some form as soon as next year.”
The blood testing that began in spring training might be expanded to the postseason, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen this year.
“Every single 40-man roster player was tested for blood this spring. I think, I’m not certain, but believe that is the most players that have ever been tested for blood in any sport at any point, to have 1,200 tests,” Weiner recounted. “What our arrangement says is that the parties would get together to discuss the chance of extending random testing into the postseason. Those discussions will happen at some specific point at the end of the year.”
No major leaguer has been announced as testing positive for HGH. Under the new labor deal the identity of substances that cause positive tests are made public.
HGH is discoverable only in blood tests, not in the urine tests that baseball has used since 2004.
Weiner also said the case of Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, whose positive drug test last October was overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das after the National League MVP disagreed the cited collection process were not followed. The drug collector didn’t take the urine sample from Miller Park to a Federal Express office.
Players and management have since rewritten the collection procedures.
“I do not think it was answered on a technicality. Ryan doesn’t think it was clarified on a technicality,” Weiner announced. “It was a fundamental piece of the agreement that all of the procedures have to be noted and they weren’t.
But that’s in the eye of the viewer — whether you want to call that an elemental mistake, whether you need to call that a technicality. What we assured was this was not a legitimate collection, and therefore collection had to be thrown out, and the case didn’t go on to questions beyond that.”
Weiner gave his view on Roger Clemens’ acquittal last month on charges he lied to Congress following the release of the Mitchell Report. The 7-time Cy Young Award winner repeatedly denied using steroids and Human Growth Hormone.
“Roger Clemens was exonerated legally, but everyone knows, Roger himself, that there’s actually no winner in that,” Weiner said. “He can be exonerated legally and folks are still going to think what they’re going to think.”