Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig speaks at a news conference in New York, November 22, 2011, to announce a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with the players that will allow play to continue uninterrupted through the 2016 season. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig can safely say his league now has the toughest drug-testing policy in professional sports.
The MLB and players’ union reached a deal Thursday to expand the league’s drug program, agreeing to in-season blood tests for human growth hormones and a new test designed to catch illegal use of testosterone.
The decision comes a day after the Baseball Writers’ Association of America failed to elect any players to the Hall of Fame, where players under scrutiny during the steroid era — Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa — were on the ballot for the first time.
In November 2011 the players agreed to HGH testing in their collective bargaining agreement but only during spring training and the off-season.
The NFL and its players union said they had agreed to HGH blood-testing but the union has expressed some trepidation, resulting in no protocol back in 2011.
Baseball’s tougher tests will start during the 2013 season.