Since Melky Cabrera was suspended for elevated levels of testosterone, and even prior as part of Ryan Braun having come up positive for the same, discussions have swirled about the process by which players are tested. Recently, Victor Conte, the former head of BALCO has been just one.
Today the league and union for the players struck back issuing a joint statement on how testing for testosterone is conducted saying that reporting and much of the commentary has been inaccurate. The statement reads…
The facts are these:
· Like almost every other testing program, Baseball’s program uses a testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 4:1 as a screening device. Unlike most other programs, however, the fact that a sample has a T/E ratio below 4:1 does not mean that sample is free from further analysis.
· The characteristics of every sample, including the T/E ratio, are analyzed at the WADA-certified laboratory in Montreal and the laboratory determines which samples are subjected to Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) testing.
· All samples with a T/E ratio above 4:1 are subjected to CIR but so are many samples with a T/E ratio less than 4:1.
Christiane Ayotte, the Director of the WADA-certified laboratory in Montreal, stated: “The procedures used in the Montreal Laboratory make more extensive use of CIR than those used in other labs and there is no doubt that Baseball’s program detects testosterone positives that other programs would fail to detect.”
A key point that has been overlooked in much of the reporting is that the T/E ratios below 4:1 can be further tested. Stay tuned on this… there’s bound to be more commentary after this statement from the league and MLBPA.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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