Are current PED punishments enough?

This story has been edited since publication due to an error.

TJ Quinn released a bit of a bomb yesterday saying, “Major League Baseball is expected to announce in the next few days that another player has tested positive for the steroid Turinabol.”

In response, on Baseball Tonight last night, Dallas Braden argued that there is not enough of a strong deterrent to keep players from cheating in baseball. Instead of “sending players on an 80 game vacation,” he said that we should take away their earning potential either by voiding their contract or creating a “career earnings cap.”

Now before you react, let me say a couple of things before I get into my thoughts.

First, I am not the biggest Dallas Braden fan. I tend to view him as the Skip Bayless of baseball commenting. He has a million “hot takes” and has a strong stance on everything and anything. Those aren’t bad things, it’s just not interesting for me personally. Some people are passionate about different things. I also didn’t really like him as a player. He’s cut from the same cloth as Wainwright and Carpenter. It’s the “play baseball the ‘right’ way” thing that gets to me. Remember that one time he yelled at A-Rod for cutting across the field on the mound when he was pitching? That happened.

Second, I don’t agree with all of Braden’s thoughts, but the sentiment was something I was interested in. It got me thinking about the PED suspension process as a whole. Perhaps it could be revamped.

Right now, this is how the current process looks:

As it stands now, teams aren’t able to void any part of the contract when a player is found to have used PEDs (it’s different for things like narcotic use). This means that players like Dee Gordon and Chris Colabello, who were both slapped with 80 game suspensions, will still be eligible for their contracts. While they both lose the money during the suspension (Gordon will lose $1.65 million), their contract still remains in tact. This means that when Gordon returns he’s still eligible for the remaining $1.65 million and the rest of his new deal. Now, in a sport where Giancarlo Staton has a total contract value of $325 million, those numbers don’t seem significant. But they are for the player. And I think that was Braden’s point about there not being enough deterrent. If you can cheat, get paid, and live with the fact that you perhaps weren’t ethical, what’s stopping you?

So what does the MLB do?

I think there is one of two answers to that question. (1) Nothing, the system is working as it should. You’ll always have players that think they can outsmart the testing. Plus, players are more motivated by losing playing time vs money. Or (2) something, the the system is not working as it should. There isn’t enough to sway someone from cheating because they are still getting their full contract.

The MLB shouldn’t change anything
The biggest hurdle against not changing anything with current PED penalties comes from the player’s themselves. Their union has argued that by voiding contracts or taking away any sort of earnings from the player, the teams or anyone involved in the process could contaminate a sample.

For example, let’s say you have a player who signed a big contract several years ago. At the time, they were worth every penny. Now, later on in their career, they are severely underperforming. An unethical team could try and use dirty tactics to arrange a failed drug test and thus void the remainder of the contract. Think A-Rod or Jayson Werth.

Is this probable? I doubt it. But is it possible? Sure, it’s possible.

But beyond all this, does anything really need to be changed? The “problem” seems to have been solved with the amount of testing and how rigorous they seem to be. Also, no longer are we seeing big name players being implicated (…yet anyway. And hopefully never). Perhaps the 80-game suspension followed by a year is enough to keep things in check for those that care.

The MLB should change something
Maybe… maybe the MLB could do more. I don’t think Braden’s idea of voiding contracts is a viable option–especially with the union issue that was discussed above. But I think there is an answer in the financial realm.

First, let’s consider the current rule, which doesn’t mention any sort of financial ramifications if caught using PEDs. I find that odd. I think fining a player and suspending them would be more than fair. After all, there are financial implications when narcotics or other prohibited drugs are involved. But even then, the money goes back into the team’s pocketbook (which is a very messed up issue in and of itself. Why would you punish a player for coming forward and admitting that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol? That’s incredibly asinine and is the current policy in the MLB). Why are the policies different depending on what illegal substance you are putting into your body?

Here’s what they do, according to me: take notice of what other leagues like the NFL do with their fines and donate them to charity. According to the NFL’s website, since 2009 they have donated more than $4 million a year to various charities. The NFL has their own set of challenges and have had more labor disputes than the MLB as of late. But why wouldn’t this specific change work in the MLB for both the current narcotics and PED punishments? It takes away the player’s argument of the possibility of teams tampering and also puts a tougher punishment on the players themselves, which in turn, helps the teams.

Let me be clear, I’m not implying that if there had been a financial punishment, Dee Gordon would be playing baseball right now. I have no idea. And you have no idea. But the extra punishments can’t hurt.

For now, nothing is going to change. And I actually think that’s okay for the time being. This sort of testing is relatively new when it comes to larger history of baseball. The league is still figuring it out, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (on the PED side, not the substance abuse side)…but not forever.

Nothing is perfect, especially including in sports.

Filed under: General

Tags: PEDs


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  • fb_avatar

    Interesting to say the least. Until you mentioned it I never would have considered the team themselves looking to get out of a contract by tainting a test but this is the world we now live in. It's gonna be an uphill battle to figure out. But your right there isn't enough teeth in the current system to negate the fact that some players are going to continue to do it.

  • In reply to Scott Tomkiewicz:

    An easy solution would be for the team to void the contract, but have to redistribute that players salary to the rest of the team or to a charity. Therefore, the team wouldn't get a break on salary, but the player would be punished financially.

    I always wondered if Braun signed his "team-friendly" contract early knowing he would still make bank if he ever got caught using PED's. Does this factor come into the thought process of players deciding to sign long-term deals to buy out their arbitration years?

  • In reply to wb22:

    I don't think the users salary should be distributed to the rest of the team. That would encourage the cheater and reduce peer pressure to play clean.

  • One-year ban for the first offense, lifetime for the second. I'm OK with a team option to void a contract, but also would like to see the team pay some sort of fine when one of their players is caught cheating. Teams can have NO control or influence over the testing - it must be 100% independent.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I still like the 3 strike method, but maybe 1 year, 2 or 3 years, lifetime? I do like the thought of that salary going to charity, instead of back to the team. This was a huge issue in the A-rod suspension if I remember correctly.

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    How about a two year period where the player has to play for the league minimum? That alone would stop a 25 Million dollar player from even thinking about it. the guys that are already making the league minimum need to fight and scrape for any playing time that they can get, so for them, losing the time should be enough of a deterrent on its own.

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    How come my comment didn't show up? The system says it needs to be checked by an administrator?

  • In reply to Brian Steiner:

    Looks like it was marked as "spam." I went ahead and fixed that. Sorry!

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    In reply to Myles Phelps:

    not a problem

  • In reply to Brian Steiner:

    It happens to everyone.

  • I agree that the ultimate fix comes from the financial side. I'm sure that is being discussed amongst CBA negotiators as we speak. The incentive to land a family-generational contract is hard to dismiss.

    Another area of dissuation needs to come from the players themselves, and I'm glad to see it is. More and more players are speaking out, and showing their frustration. Years ago, I was cynical, knowing a lot of the outspoken players were grandstanding and covering, but it is beginning to sound sincere.

    We are at a point, though, where it gets murky. EVERY player takes some sort of supplement. Even the most anti-PED voices say "I make sure my supplements are approved." It's the world we live in. With millions of dollars involved, it's not going away any time soon. What is legal, what isn't, and where's the line? And why is that line there? Who decides?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And, I hate to say, always holding my breath, waiting for that next shoe to drop.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That's sad but, unfortunately, true. When guys like Jake Arrieta are automatically under suspicion only because of an improvement in performance, something is wrong. Matt Szczur came to spring training with more power and now is out with an injury - surely he's juicing, too! That's what PEDs have done to the game.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Szczur came to spring training the year before with power too. I don't think anyone is accusing him of juicing.

  • In reply to John57:


  • It is still a bit messed up, isn't it? Players are finding ways to mask PED use, or work around the testing. And no financial punishment if they get caught? That makes no sense. A player's salary should be prorated, based on how many games he misses from PED use. If it's half a season, he loses half his salary that year. And give the money to charities. By no means should the owning team get that.

    But if you really want to end PED use in baseball, both the player and his team should be punished. Punish the player where it really matters to him, his wallet.
    A player who uses PEDs is really only motivated by money, it is ridiculous that that type of player has no financial punishment.

    Also punish the team by taking away a draft pick. Why? This will force the team FOs to really care about this issue. They can do something about this by not signing an FA if there is a possibility he is cheating. That would go a long, long way to ending cheating. Make PED users pariahs in the league. Smart teams will avoid them, and eventually players will get the message. The right message.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    That's a good post. Player, team, and ownership will have skin in the game.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    However, as Myles stated in this very though provoking article, I doubt that a team would resort to dirty tactics. However, if a team was going to be punished with something as serious as a 1st round draft pick, could they (I honestly don't know if it's possible, as I am not schooled enough to know how the chain of command works when submitting a urine/blood sample) hide or cover up a dirty sample in an attempt to cover up a positive PED sample so they don't lose said draft pick?

  • The player should be fined while on suspension for the 80 games, maybe not the full amount, but at least a sizable amount and it should go to the league charity, not the team.

    Anyone caught twice should be subject to termination of contract. That way the issue of false positives or team's conspiring to try to get out of contracts would be avoided. I would imagine it would be difficult to pull something like that off twice.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Unless they get caught legitimately the 1st time, falter in their game later on, and then the team wants to get out of the contract and knows that there is already a shadow on the player's ethics.

    I agree with you, but this is what the union would no doubt argue.

  • I'm sure I do not know the answer, but suspension with full pay sounds like a vacation to me. I don't care what you do for a living.

  • If the team remains obligated to continue paying the player, then the team should be able to have the player clean their park or be a baseball clown, and when the team is out of town, then do another form of work. Humiliate the cheat.

  • I think I'm weird because I don't think PEDs are the scourge that they are made out to be. I have no idea what the physical toll of the baseball schedule is like, but when I think about the fact that by the end of a school year, I am exhausted and pretty much spent, it's hard to imagine what a 162 game schedule is like.

    So, if someone was willing to give me a pill or injection that could give me energy and focus throughout the school year, I'd probably do it. I'm not looking for late 1990s/early 2000s level usage in baseball, but trying to eliminate it is not where I want MLB directing its time and energy.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Mlb will need to be vigilant just to do that.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    But here's the thing, the last few people who've been caught haven't been using some state of the art drug. They've been using a steroid Turinabol, "a drug that was commonly used by East German athletes in the 1970s."

    I get what you're saying and I tend to think along that line too. But why Turinabol and why now?

  • In reply to Myles Phelps:

    Yea, I'm confused by that too. It seems really odd after so many years of them using state of the art stuff to try and avoid detection.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    From what I have read it seems that some of the players being caught are either being stupid or are being deceived about what they are receiving. Also that there can be cross contamination when creating the steroids. A chemist makes a batch of the less expensive, older technology stuff that is going to be sold to some local gym where no one is being tested and then uses the same equipment to make the high end stuff without cleaning it.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Both of those things make sense, and perhaps would explain how the athlete says that they never knowingly ingested that substance.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    Yeah, I think it was some recent interview I read where Victor Conte said that if guys were using the right stuff and following the right regiments of when to take them that they basically cannot be caught. And that what he suspected is happening now is that with some of the high end places being shutdown or investigated it means that some players are forced to less reputable outlets who might not be selling them what they say they are, or the players are not following what they are told, but what he really suspected was that these positives for these old steroids are not because there is sizable quantities of these substances in the samples that would actually help the athlete, but that there is enough traces to trigger a positive and he wouldn't be surprised if it was because of dirty beakers. Basically chemist just being incompetent or lazy and cross-contaminating batches.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    MLB should test more often(once/wk) unannounced. One year suspension first time and lifetime the second. Players know what they are putting in their bodies. Play clean or go home.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Players SHOULD know what they're ingesting but I'm not sure they all do unless they knowingly are using PED's. Who's to say some of these PED's aren't used as part of a seasoning in a restaurant.

    I'm guessing the banned list is in the 10's if not 100's of drugs and if they don't pass there supplements by the team's med staff they could be ingesting PED's.(bad judgement but they aren't all rocket scientists).

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    There's an entire industry dedicated to helping people cheat on drug tests. Everything from products to "cleanse" the system to additives that "alter" the urine sample to artificial urine, complete with artificial (but realistic!) delivery device for those pesky observed tests, is available with a click or two of a mouse. There are athletes, truckers, and others that put their faith in these products to help them pass the tests. Here's an example - add your own Ws -

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Cheaters will screw up the sequence eventually.

  • In reply to Myles Phelps:

    Maybe someone should show what HAPPENED to those "female" East German swimmers who were using that PED. Most of all have developed cancer and male hormones as a result. much to there chagrin.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Chynna ended up dead.

  • In reply to jack:

    So did the Olympics.

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    The disparities between "recreational" and performance enhancing drugs is deplorable, and there is VERY little incentive not to cheat in baseball and many other sports. These are a couple suggestions that I thought were compelling in the sport of track and field:

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    In reply to Samuelh:

    "Idea #1 “The Scarlet Letter Law”: Athletes who have served drug bans would no longer be able to receive appearance fees from meets. Meets directors would not be able to promote these athletes before meets and during competition, they would be forced to wear a special unsponsored uniform — a sort of scarlet letter — to remind everyone watching that they had cheated."

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    In reply to Samuelh:

    "Idea #2 “The Fair Play Fund”: A percentage of prize money at every meet is placed into a deferred compensation fund — some sort of high-yield trust account. If, after 10 years, an athlete has not failed a drug test or received a drug suspension, he or she is entitled to the remaining portion of the prize money — plus interest. Athletes who fail drug tests would not be allowed to collect the remaining portion of their prize money, which would be reallocated to the athletes who finished behind them."

  • In reply to Samuelh:

    Baseball players are not paid by how many "meets" they win.

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    In reply to jack:

    I was posting ideas from the Track and Field Athletes Association (an analog to the MLBPA) for discussion. Similar principles/policies could be applied to baseball.

  • In reply to Samuelh:

    But, as I pointed out, these are not analogous. You going to have half the LA Giants in brown uniforms and half in red? Do some original thinking and come up with something pertinent to baseball.

  • In reply to jack:

    Way to be welcoming and inclusive, jack.

  • In reply to Samuelh:

    I meant SF.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think he was just throwing some ideas out for thought type scenarios. We know baseball players aren't compensated for winning "meets". It's just how track and field deal with their athletes, and maybe baseball can come up with something similar. I think that's all Samuelh was trying to do here.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    I think MOST of us understood what Samuelh was getting at. I don't think holding back a portion of a player's salary as incentive to stay clean for a specified length of time is a bad idea at all. I could see a suspension and then you play for the league minimum for the next season - any contract amounts over that are returned to you, with interest, if you stay clean for X years. Not a bad idea at all.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Agreed. None of us has "the answer", but what would a discussion be if we all didn't throw out our ideas? Thanks Cliff.

  • i think the PED policy is about 15 years behind the science. Classification of synthetic steroids with natural substances like HGH shouldn't carry the same penalty.

    External infrared, ultrasound and lasers are fine to make athletes healthier or recover, but substances either found in our bodies or assist our own internal healing aren't? This is ridiculous.

    The primary purpose (as I understand it) of banning substances is 'unfair competitive advantage' and deterrent for children. Drugs are bad is a good message but but synthetic pharmaceuticals for pain or blood clotting (ok under PED) are hypocritical when you disallow colostrum - which is about as natural as it gets. MLB bows to the FDA which authorized (and now changed it's mind) on aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal) now known to turn into formaldehyde as it is digested. While every other modern nation bans or regulates GMO's, our FDA proclaimed up until last November there was no reason to think they caused any harm, despite MIT, Purdue and thousands (yes thousands) of studies showing some link to over 22 chronic diseases. The FDA is fallible and since it is 90% funded by the submission fees of pharmaceutical companies, it is also compromised.

    Jake Arrieta is a great example of using nutrition (and psychophisio methods) to gain a competitive advantage. In Cereal Killers II documentary, Irish athletic doctor specialists talk about how you optimize muscular performance by over 25% adopting an (organic) high fat, high protein regimen. WHY is it ok for these athletes to use natural methods but not geranium seeds or deer antler spray? Worse, why is it ok for a doctor to prescribe powerful pain killers (that actually harm the athlete by potentially creating reinjury) or things like Ciprofloxacin, a popular fluroquinolone antibiotic, which have been documented to transform athletes into invalids with chronic pain?

    Don't we want HEALTHIER athletes? Don't we want them on the field after injury quicker? Don't we want them to be in the healthiest state to prevent injury?

    I haven't quite bought into the argument to completely abolish any performance drug as some libertarians advocate because I do think there would be sinister agents or clubs that would take advantage of poorly educated athletes for a short term team benefit. But let's quit stopping the athletes from using EVERY solution possible to allow them to prolong their careers and stay healthy.

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    So as I understand it Dee Gordon, while suspended 80 games is still paid for those games? That makes no sense at all, and if a player knew that he would lose half of his yearly salary he "might" not do it.
    Braden had a good point. What if a player was average and then started juicing and thus turns a new contract of maybe 3 yr $25 M to a 3 yr $50M deal because he hits more Hrs and now is a power hitter. Would you be willing to sacrifice an 80 game suspension and still get the $50M? I think a lot of players would.
    I don't have a solution other than not paying during the suspension, but I don't know about voiding the whole contract--but I can see doing that but then what does the team do? Have the player become a FA? I don't know.

  • I will start by saying I am anti-PED. I do actually give a shit when someone is tilting the playing field and especially if someone destroys the record books... It changes the game going forward, and not for the better.

    That said, here is my solution: Take away all accolades from that player going forward. No more hardware! No more MVP votes, regular season or playoffs. No more Silver Slugger awards. No more Cy Young votes. No Gold Gloves. No Triple Crown. And most importantly, no eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame. I would love it even more if their salary could shrink to league minimum for the remaining term of their contract.

    If a player has all THAT to lose and cheats, he really, really wanted to juice.

    I get it that there are fringe MiLB players and guys who feel they need something to get them to the show, and there is very little chance of stopping that. But if you take away the money and the accolades, what incentive is left?

  • One correction: Players are not paid for games in which they're suspended. So Dee Gordon, for example, will lose $1.65 million.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I was wondering about that. Thanks for speaking up.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    Thanks Jimmy. But he still keeps the rest of his contract in tact, correct?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Still has the contract (A Rod is back), but see my comment below.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    No, they are not paid during the suspension period. The team currently saves that money. But the remainder of the contract is valid. Both of these are important points, because they get into the issue of how to punish a player (voiding of a contract) and the potential of a team dubiously sabotageing a player (to rid itself of an albatross).

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I have since fixed that. Thanks, Jimmy.

  • As typified by the last couple of comments, the proposition was stated too vaguely to be a starting point for discussion. For instance, A Roid's whole claim about the 162 day suspension was that the Yankees were trying to save a year's pay.

    Similarly, what does "voiding the contract mean," especially then when it was linked to "at the club's option?" Say that was in effect this year. Would that mean that Miami would opt not to void Dee's contract because they are afraid the Mets would sign him as a free agent?

    Clearly the only solution is that whatever the length of the suspension, you are not paid and are banned from MLB.

  • The interesting thing will be watching the negotiations for the next CBA. Supposedly the players and management are in agreement that something more must be done, however, if it can be used as leverage by either side, it will be.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Depends on whom the MLBPA claims to represent. There may be one rule if the membership is overwhelmingly behind "the players have to be clean for the integrity of the game" and another if it is representing "the accused entitled to due process." Basically, the owners didn't care, until Congress put on the heat.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yea. Its hard to think either side has clean hands in all this.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Not so much an issue of who has clean hands as who has any incentive to modify the collective bargaining agreement.

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    Honestly I think the current system is totally fine. Once suspended that pay can not be collected during the suspension. I think the contract voiding is unfair and the union won't go for it anyway. And it wouldn't work anyway, seems to me the vast majority of PED users are fringe major leaguers. AAAA players desperate to make the MLB. Salary loss doesn't matter to them they are trying anything they can to make it. Big stars would probably stop using PED's but I think a lot of them are backing away from it now anyway. Their brands can get destroyed look at A-Rod and Braun. No endorsements, no media love, getting booed everywhere. The real PED issue now is fringe players. And I just can't really work myself up into a lather over it.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Dee Gordon went from fringe to a batting title. Anybody who has been around PED s knows that the reason anyone, regardless of ability, uses is because they work so well. There is no in between. They work for everybody. If you are marginal, you will be a stud. If you already a stud, you become Barry, Sammy, and Mac.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Dee Gordon was never "fringe". He was a 4th round pick, hit well over .300 in his 3+ MILB seasons. Saying he is fringe just seems to fit the narrative that taking some supplements will make you a great player. That is garbage.

    This argument that anyone can pop a pill, rub some cream, or take an injection, and voila, you are a HOF player is tired and lazy. PED's allow the body to recover AND coupled with hard work allow more strength and endurance in a workout. And then keep repeating this regimen will allow gains.

    Why players take banned substances is beyond me when there are so many OTC supplements that can have virtually the same effect. As Barley Pop wrote above, what is legal and what is not is the line that needs to be distinguished because there are so many supplements out there.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Dee was a part-time player w/Dodgers and won a batting title on the Marlins. If PED s didn't work why would any player gamble on taking them? Because they do work, and they work for every kind of athletes in every sport. You are co-dependant. Supplements are not PED s.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Facts are not your friend. Gordon hit .289 in 650 at bats before last year with FL. How is that a part-time player?

    Difference in last year versus the year before? 29 hits more in 3 more PA. So roughly 1 hit extra per week and it is all attributed to PED usage? I think not.

    All PED's are supplements. What is legal and what is not is the only difference among all supplements or PEDs.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm talking about what he did with the Dodgers.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    2014 was with LA--650 plate appearances and 176 hits for a .289 average

    2015 with FL --653 plate appearances and 205 hits for a .333 average

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Still, a pretty big difference, but I'll concede on the fringe label. I still don't think that the only difference between supplements and anabolic steroids is what is legal and what is not. One fact that is on my side is Dee tested positive. Apparently, MLB doesn't buy the supplement bull either. Steroids are a huge shortcut to conditioning that cannot be maintained for a whole season while playing 162games with or without supplements, but only with PEDs.

  • Comment not listed because... ?

  • 1st offense - 1 year.
    2nd offense - Lifetime ban.

    On both of them, Contract still paid out but player fined total amount of contract.

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    In reply to hansman1982:

    Just to make sure I understand this the team would pay the player his contract value, the league would fine the player the full value of his remaining contract. Wouldn't that punish the team almost as much as the player?

  • I remember an interview I heard a few years ago. I can't recall who this interview was with (Victor Conte?), but the point was it was still very easy to use steroids and not get caught. The way the Collective Bargaining Agreement was written, players could be randomly sampled right before or right after a game. The way around it was very low, daily dose of steroid (testosterone?) after the game. The dose was effective but nearly impossible to get caught because it was not detectable 12 hours later.

    The take away - only stupid players get caught.

  • In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    This sounds correct. Essentially the argument in the A Rod case was that he never was caught because Conte recommended something like this.

  • As I understand it, the key to this new rash of positives is a change in how the test works. I am not a doctor and this is a VERY basic understanding: formerly, the test would look for PEDs in the blood and the athlete had some degree of confidence that the PED would be out of the system (a few weeks) by the time the test was taken. With the improved test, it picks up residual from the PEDs (metabolites) that stay in the blood much much longer (months). In the some of the articles I have read some of the most vocal opponents to PED use are the players that don't want to feel the pressure to use PEDs to compete. It is not altogether clear to me whose interests the Union is representing.

    Gordon got a large contract quite possibly on the strength of PED use and it will only cost him a fraction of that to keep thee benefits of that contract. It seems to me that there should a greater penalty than just loss of 11 and 1/2 weeks of salary.

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    I would think that the IRS has some standing here. They probably view the loss of Dee Gordon's paycheck as a loss of revenue in terms of income tax. I don't know if the anti-trust exemptions MLB and other professional sports create a carve out but they could get involved and put all kinds of sand in the gears.

  • In reply to Eli Roth:

    Nope. You are only taxed on income you earn. Based on your theory, every person who has a contract of employment or is an independent contractor would have to mail their contracts to the IRS, and if they defaulted (such as not completing an assignment on time) would have to pay a penalty to the IRS. It doesn't work that way. Your reportable income is based on a W-2 or 1099.

  • In reply to Eli Roth:

    By the same token, Adam LaRouche did not owe $4.5 million in federal income tax because he retired and left $13 million on the table, nor was he entitled to a refund from the IRS in that amount.

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