Loophole In MLB Drug Policy Helps Cincinnati Reds After Pitcher Edinson Volquez Suspension

Cincinnati Reds starter Edinson Volquez warms up during an MLB spring training game in Sarasota, Florida, in this March 23, 2009 file photo. Volquez became the first Major League Baseball player in nearly a year to receive a 50-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. The league said in a statement that Volquez had tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. REUTERS/Steve Nesius/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Edinson Volquez, pitcher on the Cincinnati Reds, was suspended for 50 days due to testing positive for drugs that help increase fertility.

For those of you not aware of why this is an issue, substances like these are taken by athletes mainly to deal with side effects of steroid or PED (performance enhancing drugs) use – namely, depressed levels of testosterone. Thus, the reason they are on the “banned” list of drugs in major league baseball.

Volquez serves his time for the suspension and comes back to help the Reds, keeping the race in the National League Central division tight.

Ok, no big deal (except for the continued poor character choices some MLB players keep making) right? He served his time, so where is the story?

According to an article in USA Today’s Daily Pitch last week, Reds’ Edinson Volquez, back from injury and drug suspension, leaves mark on pennant race, Mr. Volquez was able to serve out his suspension during his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery.

“Wait a minute now,” you say, “he would have been unable to play anyway” – that’s correct, “so where is the consequence?” There wasn’t one, unless of course you count “the $133,000 or so in lost salary.” Accountability – not, at least not the kind of accountability that might deter poor character choices like steroid and PED use in major league baseball.

My response to all of this comes in the form of a statement to MLB commissioner Bud Selig:  You want to “make a difference” with regard to performance enhancing drug use in baseball – then make one!!! There is no way anyone (with sound mind anyway) could justify allowing a suspension to be served during a time period when the suspended athlete is already out of the game, due to injury or otherwise.

Heck, why not let any player who is caught “using” just serve their time during the offseason. That would really make a difference, wouldn’t it?

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