At 4:22pm EST Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association released new and updated guidelines for performance enahancing drug testing and punishments for failed tests.
The new guidelines add more urine and blood tests to the system. Players who fail a test will not be eligible to participate in All-Star festivities or the playoffs of that season. The ban from the playoffs is new. The biggest things from the new policy is the length of the suspensions. Formerly you would get 50 games for the first failure, 100 games for the second and then you would get a lifetime ban.
With the new guidelines a first time failure will land you on the suspended list for 80 games. A second failure will land you on the suspended list for 162 games. A third failure will still result in a lifetime suspension from the game. As a part of the second time suspension, a player will also not be paid for 183 days despite just 162 games being served.
The most interesting part of the press release was this though:
The parties established a program in which Players will have year-round access to supplements that will not cause a positive test result and which will improve home and visiting weight rooms
While MLB has always had an “approved substance” list, this is an interesting twist. Does this mean that MLB/MLBPA will provide these substances on the list to the players year round if they so choose to take them? I haven’t seen much clarification about this portion of the release, but it does seem to be one of the more interesting parts from the release.