As reported earlier Thursday (Agreement Reached to Make Changes to MLB Drug Policy), management and the union representing the players are on the verge of updating MLB’s drug testing policy (see the current Joint Drug Agreement) by removing the current health policy advisory committee (HPAC), and moving to a new system with oversight by an independent body.
Word late Thursday is that while the system of testing by an independent will be instituted but they may not have oversight over every aspect of administering the policy. As reported by The AP:
Negotiators are close to an agreement that would amend the drug plan for a third time, and the independence of the administrator would be strengthened by establishing a fixed term and allowing his termination only for specified reasons, several people familiar with the talks said.
However, the administrator is unlikely to have all authority over performance-enhancing drugs, with a different third-party entity likely to be created for some issues. In addition, the commissioner will retain authority over discipline.
An agreement could be announced as early as Friday. As part of the deal, HPAC could be replaced by a different and renamed union-management body.
The “different issues” could involve failure to test, or drugs of abuse, although this is not specified in the repot.
As part of the changes to the testing policy, increased testing of the players would occur. There have also been reports that players may be tested year-round. Currently, players are not tested in the off-season.
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