MLB and players union agree to random in-season HGH testing
Baseball will expand its drug-testing program to include in-season testing for human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone, according to the New York Times. The league and players union reached a deal which is expected to be officially announced on Thursday during the owners meetings.
Random, unannounced tests will begin this season, and punishments will be the same as those for steroids: a 50-game suspension for the first positive test, a 100-game suspension for the second positive test and a lifetime ban after a third positive test.
MLB agreed to begin testing for HGH in November 2011 but only in spring training and the offseason; there were concerns that player performance would be affected by blood tests before or after regular season games.
The new agreement also includes a new testing procedure for testosterone — establishing baseline levels of the substance in players and citing them for a positive test if there is a substantially higher amount in their system.