- Major League Baseball drug policy
Major League Baseball's drug policy—the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program—was established by agreement between the MLB Players Association and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in order to deter and end the use by baseball players of banned substances, including anabolic steroids and other illegal drugs, and to "provide for, in keeping with the overall purposes of the Program, an orderly, systematic, and cooperative resolution of any disputes that may arise concerning the existence, interpretation, or application" of the policy itself. The Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program was adopted in the Spring of 2006.
While the Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC) can make recommendations to the Office of the Commissioner regarding punishment, it has no power to discipline players for violations of the drug policy, except to place them in the appropriate treatment programs. Such authority belongs to the Office of the Commissioner.
- 1 Prohibited substances
- 2 Testing for banned substances
- 3 Clinical and administrative tracks
- 4 Salary retention
- 5 Player evaluations
- 6 Confidentiality
- 7 Discipline
- 8 External links
Under the policy, all players are prohibited from using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, or facilitating the distribution of any Drug of Abuse and/or Steroid. Any and all drugs or substances listed under Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act are considered drugs of abuse covered by the Program.
List of banned substances (not exhaustive)
Drugs of abuse
- Opiates (e.g., heroin, codeine, morphine)
- MDMA (“Ecstasy”)
- Phencyclidine (“PCP”)
- (nitric acid)
- Any salt, ester or ether of a drug or substance listed above; and
- Human Growth Hormone (aka HGH)
- Amfepramone (Diethylproprion)
- Ephedrine (Ephedra)
- Phendimetrazine (Phenmetrazine)
Prohibited Substances may be added to the list only by the unanimous vote of HPAC, provided that the addition by the federal government of a substance to Schedule I, II, or III will automatically result in that substance being added to the list.
Testing for banned substances
Testing is administered via scientifically-validated urine test.
During season play (beginning with Spring Training through the end of the Regular Season), there is no random drug testing.
Drugs of Abuse
Testing for drugs of abuse is not administered randomly, but on a basis of reasonable cause. If one of the HPAC panel members has evidence that a player has used, possessed, or sold banned substances in the last 12 months, they call a conference and discuss the evidence with the other members. If a majority vote to test the suspected player is reached then testing will take place no more than 48 hours later.
Players and the collector must instruct the player to return in an hour, during which he can only drink 15 oz. of fluid in a sealed container(s) certified by the collector.
Any test conducted under the Program will be considered “positive” under the following circumstances:
- If any substance identified in the test results meets the levels set forth below.
- A Player refuses or, without good cause, fails to take a test or refuses to cooperate with the testing process.
- A Player attempts to substitute, dilute, mask or adulterate a specimen sample or in any other manner alter a test.
Drugs of abuse
Drug Initial Test Level (ng/mL) Confirmation Test Level (ng/mL) Cocaine Metabolites 300 150 Opiates/Metabolites 2000 2000 Phencyclicdine (PCP) 25 25 Cannabinoids 50 15
A test is considered positive if any Steroid is present, except the presence of nandrolone, which is considered positive only if the level exceeds 2ng/ml.
The presence of a Stimulant shall be considered a positive only if the level exceeds 250 ng/ml, unless specified otherwise below:
Drug Confirmation Test Level (ng/mL) Amfepramone (Diethylproprion) 500 Amphetaminil 2000 Chlorphentermine 500 Clortermine 500 Ephedrine 10 Methylphenidate 1000 Phenpentermine 1000 Phentermine 500
HPAC immediately notifies the Player and the Club of the positive drug test result.
Clinical and administrative tracks
All players who enter the program are placed on the Clinical track, except when a player tests positive for steroids, does not comply with the initial evaluation, cooperate in his treatment, is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to the sale or use and prohibited substance, or participates in the sale or distribution of any banned substance. In that event, the player is placed in the Administrative Track. HPAC has the discretion to place a player in the Administrative Track in any other event, but not solely on the basis that the player is in an inpatient treatment program. Transfer to the Administrative track is contingent on a majority vote, and in the case of a tie, a fifth member must cast a vote based on reasonable cause and cannot consider past practice.
Players are entitled to salary retention for the first 30 days they are required to be in inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment that forces his absence from the Club, and half salary retention for the next thirty days, over the course of his career. However, players are not entitled to salary retention for any such period after 60 days during the course of his career.
Players are required to be evaluated at least once by HPAC, to determine the proper treatment program. HPAC may decide that additional meetings and medical and/or toxicology examinations are required.
The Office of the Commissioner, the Association, HPAC, Club personnel, and all of their members, affiliates, agents, consultants and employees, are prohibited from publicly disclosing information about the Player’s test results, Initial Evaluation, diagnosis, Treatment Program (including whether a Player is on either the Clinical or Administrative Track), prognosis or compliance with the Program.
Failure to comply with treatment program
- First failure to comply: 15 to 25 day suspension and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Second failure to comply: 25 to 50 day suspension and/or a fine of up to $25,000
- Third failure to comply: 50 to 75 day suspension and/or a fine of up to $50,000
- Fourth failure to comply: minimum one year suspension and/or a fine of up to $100,000
- Any subsequent failure(s) to comply: The level of the discipline will be determined by the Office of the Commissioner, consistent with the concept of progressive discipline.
All suspensions are without pay.
Positive steroid test results
- First positive test result: 50 game suspension
- Second positive test result: 100 game suspension
- Third positive test result: lifetime suspension
All suspensions are without pay. In addition, a suspended player can be replaced on the active roster by another player. If a player is on the disabled list, the suspension is served while on the disabled list.
Conviction for use of prohibited substances
- First offense: 15 to 30 day suspension and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Second offense: 30 to 90 day suspension and/or a fine of up to $50,000
- Third offense: minimum one year suspension and/or a fine of up to $100,000
- Fourth offense: minimum two year suspension
- Any subsequent offense(s): The level of the discipline will be determined by the Office of the Commissioner, consistent with the concept of progressive discipline.
All suspensions are without pay.
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