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Major League Baseball's drug policy Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program is a drug policy 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.
Health policy advisory committeeEdit
Members, appointments, and voting proceduresEdit
The Health Policy Advisory Committee (“HPAC”) is responsible for administering and overseeing the Program. HPAC is made up of two representatives each(one licensed physician with expertise in diagnosis and treatment of drug abuse problems, one licensed attorney) from the Office of the Commissioner and the Office of the Association. The representatives are to be appointed from the respective Parties at will, with no minimum term of office. Decisions on matters at issue are made by majority vote, while endeavors will be made to reach unanimity. In the event of a tie, a fifth member is jointly appointed on an ad hoc basis to cast the deciding vote within 48 hours of a failure to reach a majority vote. When a majority vote cannot be reached when deciding whether or not reasonable cause exists to test a player for drugs of abuse, the fifth member is to be appointed within 24 hours and the name of the suspected player is not disclosed to him or her.
- Robert Manfred, Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball
- Eugene Orza, Chief Operating Officer of the MLBPA
- Licensed Physician appointed by Office of the Commissioner
- Licensed Physician appointed by Office of the Association
Duties and responsibilities of HPACEdit
The specific duties of HPAC are:
(a) to establish advisory groups as it deems necessary to the effective administration of the Program, provided that no such advisory group may incur any extraordinary expenses without the approval of the Office of the Commissioner and the Association;
(b) to prepare and undertake educational presentations supporting the objectives of the Program;
(c) to administer in all respects the Program’s testing requirements;
(d) to establish, monitor, maintain and supervise the collection procedures and testing protocols set forth in Addendum A hereto;
(e) to select, retain or replace an entity or entities to collect and transmit urine samples to the laboratory;
(f) to select, retain or replace a laboratory to conduct the analysis required by this program;
(g) to select, retain or replace a “Medical Testing Officer” to advise on and resolve, when called upon, the scientific issues associated with the testing required by the Program;
(h) to determine the validity of newly-developed testing procedures for Prohibited Substances (see Section 2 below);
(i) to establish uniform guidelines or requirements for Clubs’ Employee Assistance Programs (“EAPs”) as they relate to Major League Players and monitor the performance of all such EAPs as they relate to Major League Players;
(j) to determine a Player’s placement on either the Clinical or Administrative Track as set forth herein;
(k) to create, or participate in creating, individualized programs for Players on the Clinical or Administrative Track (“Treatment Programs”);
(l) to monitor and supervise the progress of Players on Treatment Programs;
(m) to review periodically the operation of the Program and, upon majority agreement of the HPAC members, make recommendations to the Office of the Commissioner and the Association for appropriate amendments;
and (n) to take any and all other reasonable actions necessary to ensure the proper administration of the Program and confidentiality of Program records.
While 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.
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 included on Schedule II of the Code of Federal Regulations’ Schedule of Controlled Substances are considered drugs of abuse covered by the Program.
List of banned substances (not exhaustive)Edit
Drugs of abuseEdit
- Opiates (e.g., heroin, codeine, morphine)
- MDMA (“Ecstasy”)
- Gamma-hydroxybutyrate ("GHB")
- Phencyclidine (“PCP”)
- Any salt, ester or ether of a drug or substance listed above; and
- Human Growth Hormone
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 substancesEdit
Testing is administered via scientifically-validated urine test.
During season play (beginning with Spring Training through the end of the Regular Season), all players will be randomly selected for testing at unannounced times for steroids once. The office of the Commissioner has the right during the season to administer additional random testing at unannounced times for steroids. The number of tests and the timing and schedule of these tests is determined by HPAC, and players are subject to any number of additional tests during the regular season.
Drugs of AbuseEdit
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 immediately, after no later than 48 hours.
Players are asked to thoroughly wash and dry their hands, and then select from at least three(3) sealed specimen collection cups. The player is to urinate into the cup under direct observation from the collector and carry it to the processing table. There must be at least 75ml of urine for a sufficient sample. If the player is unable to provide 75ml of urine, 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 abuseEdit
|Drugs||Initial Test Level||Confirmation Test Level(ng/mL)|
A test is considered positive if any Steroid is present, except the presence of nandrolone, which is considered positive only if the level exceeds 2 ng/ml.
HPAC immediately notifies the Player and the Club of the positive drug test result.
Clinical and administrative tracksEdit
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 contendre 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 programEdit
- First failure to comply: 15 to 25-day suspension or up to a $10,000 fine
- Second failure to comply: 25 to 50-day suspension or up to a $25,000 fine
- Third failure to comply: 50 to 75-day suspension or up to a $50,000 fine
- Fourth failure to comply: at least a one-year suspension or up to a $100,000 fine.
- 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 resultsEdit
- First positive test result: 50 game suspension
- Second positive test result: 100 game suspension
- Third positive test result: lifetime ban
All suspensions are without pay.
Within 24 Hours of a positive test result, HPAC will notify the Player in question. He has two business days to inform HPAC that he intends to challenge the result. During that period, HPAC is prohibited from informing any other party of the positive test result. If no appeal is made, HPAC informs the Office of the Commissioner of the positive test result, and within 24 hours, the Office of the Commissioner will notify the Player and the Club of the disciplinary measure taken, effective immediately. The player can grieve any action taken, but such discipline will not be stayed while the grievance is pending.
HPAC can unanimously decide the appeal is without merit and continue with the discipline process. If the appeal is reasonably based, HPAC will notify the Commissioner of Baseball, who in turn will notify the Player and the Club within 24 of any disciplinary action taken, effective two business days after the notice is sent. If the player files a grievance with the discipline taken, the discipline will be stayed until the Arbitration Panel issues an award.
Conviction for use of prohibited substancesEdit
- First offense: 15 to 30-day suspension or up to a $10,000 fine
- Second offense: 30 to 90-day suspension or up to $50,000 fine
- Third offense: One year suspension or up to $100,000 fine
- Fourth offense: 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.