The New York Times published an article in their Bats Blog today that, according to their sources, with the new collective bargaining agreement set to be finalized early next week, HGH will be randomly tested beginning in February when players begin to report for Spring Training. Suspensions would begin at 50 games which is the same as a first time positive steroid test.
Commissioner Bud Selig, who is sensitive about his legacy and the longstanding criticism that he was too slow to react to the use of performance-enhancing drugs in his sport, will now be able to cite the H.G.H. testing clause as proof of how seriously baseball now treats the issue of drug use. And without ever mentioning the N.F.L. by name, he will be able to take satisfaction in accomplishing what his biggest rival has been unable to do.
Last summer, N.F.L. officials said that their new collective bargaining agreement would include blood testing for human growth hormone. But their players ultimately refused to go along with the testing, citing various reservations.
This is a huge move for baseball, and whether or not you agree with the forthcoming 2 new Wild Card winners, a single game Wild Card playoff, the Houston Astros move to the A.L. West, the recommended cap for drafted bonuses, or the fact that he has completely ignored the DH/No DH conundrum, Selig managed to get this deal done without public scrutiny, unlike the NFL or NBA, is incredible and should be commended.