- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
Test results trigger MLB steroid penalties
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball will begin penalizing players for steroid use next season after learning that more than 5 percent of this year's tests came back positive.
Suspicions of steroid use had run high recently as bulked-up sluggers set all sorts of home run records. Stars like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa denied taking the drugs.
But on Thursday, the results came back and proved what many in baseball assumed -- and what former MVPs Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti already admitted: Many players were taking more than vitamins.
"Hopefully, this will, over time, allow us to completely eradicate the use of performance enhancement substances in baseball," commissioner Bud Selig said.
MLB said of 1,438 anonymous tests this season, between 5 and 7 percent were positive.
"There's a slight disagreement to where in that spectrum the exact number falls," said Gene Orza, the No. 2 official of the players' association. "It's a technical disagreement to the interpretation of the results."
Under baseball's labor contract that took effect on Sept. 30, 2002, testing with penalties begins after any season in which more than 5 percent of survey tests are positive. And from now on, players will be identified.
Starting next year, a first positive test for steroid use would result in treatment and a second in a 15-day suspension or fine of up to $10,000.
The length of penalties would increase to a 25-day suspension or fine of up to $25,000 for a third positive test, a 50-day suspension or fine of up to $50,000 for a fourth and a one-year suspension or fine of up to $100,000 for a fifth. The suspensions would be without pay.
New York Mets reliever Mike Stanton didn't think steroid use had been that widespread.
"It does surprise me a little bit," he said. "But the tests don't lie."
The newly discovered steroid THG was not tested for, and baseball cannot retest because the samples weren't saved. But it already has been added to the banned list for next year.
The NFL, NBA and NCAA test for banned steroids and other prohibited substances, but the NHL does not. For substances other than steroids, baseball tests a player only if doctors agree there is cause.
"A positive rate of 5 percent is hardly the sign that you have rampant use of anything," said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for labor relations. "From our perspective, it's still a problem. We'd like to be at zero."
Testing with penalties will continue until positive tests drop below 2.5 percent in consecutive years.
"I had no expectation one way or the other," Orza said. "I did know the claims that put the pressure on the players to address this problem the way they did were wildly inflated."
Said Minnesota outfielder Dustan Mohr: "I'm kind of surprised it's not higher."
"I think it's less than what people might think, but when you see a guy who puts on 20 pounds of solid muscle, it kind of raises your eyebrows," he said.
Some players, notably on the Chicago White Sox, had called for even more stringent testing.
"I guess if people want it bad enough they find their way around the system," Oakland pitcher Ted Lilly said. "There's still other supplements and aids out there that aren't exactly steroids. If there's anything out there that can help, I'd imagine players would find it."