February 21, 2008
Baseball needs to have tougher tests
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Are you as tired as I am of steroid scandal after steroid scandal in Major League Baseball? I would be far less frustrated today if, as spring training begins, MLB was announcing a new test for human growth hormone and other designer performance-enhancing drugs that cannot be detected the traditional way.
The game goes on and the archaic testing process remains.
Obviously, the current testing process is one that has allowed those cheaters to go on cheating. Status quo where drug testing is concerned will do little else than see more "sample cups" soiled.
We have this circus called the Mitchell Report featuring those who named names followed by big-name ball players testifying, under oath, as to whether or not they cheated by using performance- enhancing drugs.
I don't know that having Andy Pettitte admit to HGH use years ago or testifying against his best pal Roger Clemens' help today's game. In fact, I'm quite certain it does nothing to help the root issue.
Bottom line here, HGH is illegal without a prescription. Those who deal in it are "drug dealers" in the eyes of the law.
Cutting deals with the dealers does little to resolve the issues at hand; instead, it sparks a he-said-he-said. Putting away a trainer who dealt HGH does nothing if the testing process doesn't adjust. Like heroin or cocaine, new dealers take the place of the old.
This is a supply-and-demand issue and MLB needs to stop concerning itself with supply and address demand within its clubhouses.
To balk at the idea of implementing proper testing seems suspect. Why wouldn't the union want a level playing field?
For what seems like forever, MLB has been eyeing the development of a mass-use blood test for HGH. It has even gone so far as to say it would try to implement one this season "if available."
Well someone should pick up the phone and call Dick Pound at the World Anti Doping Agency. WADA developed a blood test for HGH and used it, albeit on a limited basis, in the 2004 and 2006 Olympics.
It's time to take the "scandal" out of the MLB with a simple blood test.
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.