Twelve major league players were suspended for steroid use last season, the first time players had been disciplined for positive tests. Under the new policy, a second positive from those players would be considered a first offense because the disciplinary measures have been increased.
According to Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for labor relations, the policy will run through the end of the next labor agreement. The current pact expires in a year. It is the first to include testing and discipline for amphetamines, for which a first positive test would require mandatory additional testing, leading to suspensions of 25 and 80 games for second and third positives.
Like others before it, the policy bans human growth hormone. It does not, however, test for HGH, which can be detected only through a blood test. Baseball tests through urine samples.
Also in the agreement, players convicted of steroid possession would be suspended for as many as 80 games for a first offense, and up to one year for a second offense. Players would be subject to two mandatory random tests a year, in and out of season, including at least once during spring training.