Major League Baseball and its players union have agreed to expand its drug-testing program, which will include blood-testing for human growth hormone and testosterone levels. CNN's Bleacher Report reports that the MLB will begin testing during the 2013 regular season.
"This agreement addresses critical drug issues and symbolizes Major League Baseball’s continued vigilance against synthetic human growth hormone, testosterone and other performance-enhancing substances," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
The news comes a day after baseball's Hall of Fame voters failed to induct any new players. Former players Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were all on the ballot for the first time this year. During their careers, their legacies were marred by accusations of steroid use, and they were all denied entry into the Hall of Fame.
The New York Times writes:
"The new testing in baseball will allow Commissioner Bud Selig to again argue that his sport, which was faulted for initially moving far too slowly to address the issue of performance-enhancing drugs, now has the toughest testing program of any of the professional leagues in North America.
"The expanded testing also comes on the heels of an awkward moment for baseball — the announcement on Wednesday that no players on the 2013 ballot for the Hall of Fame had received the 75 percent support needed to gain induction. The hundreds of baseball writers who cast ballots rejected the first-time candidacies of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens because of their direct links to performance-enhancers, underlining the lingering damage that the issue of drugs is inflicting on the sport.
Major League Baseball was the first major sport in the United States to sign on to H.G.H. testing, reaching an agreement with its union in November 2011 to begin testing for the substance. That agreement, however, called for testing only in spring training and the off-season, reflecting concerns by the players about how their blood would be collected before or after regular-season games and whether the process would impact their performance on the field."
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