One day after no one was elected to the Hall of Fame under numerous suspicions about steroid users, the MLB and MLBPA took another major step towards eradicating performance enhancing drugs in the game. Jon Heyman of CBS is reporting that the league will be conducting random, in-season blood testing for HGH, the first major American sport to introduce such measures.
The exact details of the agreement aren't currently known, but one would assume that the test the league will be using is the biomarker test that was used during this summer's Olympics in London. Two Russian powerlifters were suspended for two years during the Paralympics after testing positive for HGH under the new test. Testing will begin this season.
HGH testing began last spring, but no positive tests were announced by the league. Because testing for HGH requires a blood sample as opposed to a urine sample, the MLBPA was initially very hesitant on giving the go-ahead on testing. The lack of an established test also didn't help the league's case in their desire to test players. However, with the advances in technology in recent years, it appears that everyone is ready to move along with this new plan, a huge step forward for the league.
I wonder how much of an effect yesterday's voting results had on the union's willingness to accept more testing. After no players were elected, due mainly in part to suspicions about PED use, instituting HGH testing was the final piece of the puzzle towards making baseball a drug-free game. If the testing does begin this spring, we can officially slam the door shut on the steroid era of baseball, because there really will be no recourse for dirty players. Either you're going to get caught eventually, or you're going to stop using.