MLBPA executive director Tony Clark supports the new PED punishments. (Matt King/MLB/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball announced more severe penalties for those who test positive for performance enhancing drugs on Friday, including players becoming ineligible for the postseason if they are suspended at any point in the season, according to the Associated Press.
The new penalties include an increase in suspension length, with first time offenders now missing 80 games, up from 50 last season, and second time offenders now serving a full season ban, as opposed to the 100 game ban that had been in place since 2006.
Baseball saw a sharp increase in the total number of suspensions from performance enhancing drug use last season due to the Biogenesis scandal, but MLBPA chief Tony Clark says the union and the league hope the stricter punishments will lower that number.
“Our hope here is that the adjustments that we’ve made do inevitably get that number to zero,” said the new union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star himself. “In the event that that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, we’ll re-evaluate and move forward from there. But as I sit here, I am hopeful that players make the right decisions that are best for them, for their careers and for the integrity of the game.”
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Other new wrinkles to MLB drug testing include suspended players forfeiting any potential postseason bonuses in their contracts, as well as a loss of all salary for any player suspended for a full year.