PARADISE VALLEY, Arizona (AP) ― Major League Baseball will test for human growth hormone throughout the regular season and increase efforts to detect abnormal levels of testosterone, a decision the NFL used to pressure its players.
Baseball players were subject to blood testing for HGH during spring training last year, and Thursday’s agreement between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association expands that throughout the season. Those are in addition to urine tests for other performance-enhancing drugs.
Under the changes to baseball’s drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, and will conduct Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry tests of any urine specimens that “vary materially.”
“This is a proud and a great day for baseball,” commissioner Bud Selig said following two days of owners’ meetings. “We’ll continue to be a leader in this field and do what we have to do.”
The announcement came one day after steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa failed to gain election to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
Commenting on the timing, Selig noted the drug program changes had long been in the works “but it wasn’t too bad, was it?”
Selig reflected on how far baseball had come on performance enhancing drug issues.
“This is remarkable when you think of where we were 10, 12, 15 years ago and where we are today,” he said. “Nobody could have dreamed it.”