Minor league baseball has been on the forefront of drug testing in baseball for a decade.
Human Growth Hormone Previously Thought to be Undetectable
New York (Wednesday, February 24, 2010) – While Major League Baseball (MLB) may not ready to launch the system itself, an announcement came today that it hopes to begin testing its minor league clubs for Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This information comes after a British rugby player was suspended after testing positive for HGH abuse, while in the past the drug was thought to be undetectable by blood testing.
"We are well aware of the important news with respect to the HGH blood test in England," Major League Baseball released in a statement Wednesday. "We are consulting with our experts concerning immediate steps for our minor league drug program and next steps for our major league drug program. The commissioner remains committed to the position that we must act aggressively to deal with the issue of HGH."
Due to its agreement with the MLB Players Association, common ground must be met for MLB to implement blood testing on the senior playing level. While this may be the case in the big leagues, the minor leagues remain open game to initiate the plan. Before random urine testing was instilled for unionized MLB players in 2002, the minor leagues had already begun using the same program a year earlier.
Needless to say, this breakthrough in drug testing is big news on the sports scene, and U.K. Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson feels this case is a major advancement in his field of study.
"It is the world-first analytical positive for HGH, a substance that has previously gone undetected because it leaves the system fairly quickly after administration," he commented. "There has been a feeling that you can take growth hormone with impunity, but this shows this is no longer the case. Now there is a test, so our message to athletes is to think twice about using it."
It is unknown exactly when this proposed testing would be worked into minor league baseball, and MLB has yet to elaborate on what will fall into its decision process regarding its implementation.
Note: The New York Times was the first media outlet to break this story.