As the investigation into an online pharmacy in Orlando, FL continues to reveal names of MLB players allegedly involved in acquiring performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), Major League Baseball is considering the possibility of trying to suspended players based on penalties that were in place during the time of a possible prior infraction of the MLB drug policy.
Currently, players that test positive for PEDs face a mandatory 50 game suspension, but under the drug policy in place in 2004, a player would have been suspended for just 10 games. According to a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports if MLB were to determine that a player had used PEDs during prior period when suspensions for PED use were in place, that player would then be assessed the suspension period in place at that time. So in the case of Troy Glaus – who might be found to be guilty of the policy in 2004 – would be suspended for 10 games as defined in the prior Joint Drug Agreement.
As to whether MLB would be able to engage in suspensions based on the prior agreement, the issue would clearly have to be approved by the MLB Players Association, and most likely met with resistance.
MLB and the Mitchell Commission continue to try and gain direct access from the Albany Co. DA’s office conducting the investigation into Signature. So far, they have been rebuffed by the DA’s office.
"There are still rules of engagement and how it seems that we're going to work together that have to be discussed, and if there's anything they can offer us in helping us with our case," [District Attorney P. David Soares] said before Thursday's meeting. As further reported by Yahoo! Sports:
MLB officials met with [Rick] Ankiel on Tuesday and have requested meetings with Gibbons and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. in addition to Glaus. Matthews was the first name leaked after the February raids of Signature and several health clinics. Ankiel, who said he received human growth hormone with a doctor's prescription in 2004, was asked by MLB officials to cooperate with the Mitchell commission, according to a source.
[Jay] Gibbons reportedly was sent steroids and HGH between October 2003 and July 2005. If the allegations are proven, he could be subject to the current policy.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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