Report: Changes to MLB’s Penalties for PED Offenders Are ‘Unlikely’ During This Week’s Meetings

When the Major League Baseball Players Association convenes for its annual executive board meetings this week, MLB’s drug testing program is expected to be a major talking point in the discussions.

But ESPN.com reports that alterations to the 50-game, 100-game and lifetime ban suspensions for PED offenders that are currently in place are “unlikely.” The meetings are slated to focus on offenders rather than penalties.

Two players in the union –– Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano –– told ESPN.com that agreed they believed the drug testing system was working as expected.

“There’s always something to be gained by using steroids or performance-enhancing drugs, and some players are going to feel like it’s in their best interests to take that risk,” Guthrie said. “But I still think 50 games without pay is significant, not only in lost wages but in lost potential wages for a player.”

During the second half of the season, then-Giants outfielder –– and now Blue Jays outfielder –– Melky Cabrera, Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal each failed PED tests and received 50-game suspensions.

Cabrera, however, devised a fake website with the intention of justifying his elevated level of testosterone. His suspension hurt his case in free agency as Cabrera settled on a two-year, $16 million deal with Toronto instead of earning an All-Star type of payday.

“When we see a person test positive, like Melky Cabrera, all of us as players are like, ‘How does that happen? How do you think you’re going to get away with something now?'” Capuano said. “We all get tested randomly.

“I won’t even take fish oil or a multivitamin from a supermarket unless it’s certified for the sport. We ask our trainers and strength coaches about anything we take. Just the notion that there’s a small group of players who still think they can stay ahead of the curve and get away with stuff comes as a surprise to me — and to the majority of the players.”

For the first time last year, the Player’s Association agreed to allow testing for human growth hormone in spring training.

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