MLB increases penalties for using banned stimulants

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball is increasing penalties for using banned stimulants and is adding more random drug tests.

The suspension for a second stimulant violation goes up from 25 to 50 games under a change to the sport's drug agreement announced Friday by the commissioner's office and players' association. A third violation would result in a 100-game penalty, up from 80.

The penalty for a first stimulant violation remains follow-up testing and the discipline for a fourth stays at up to a permanent suspension..

Baseball conducted 8,281 drug tests - 6,634 urine and 1,647 blood - in the year ending with this season's World Series, an increase from 8,158 in the year ending with the 2015 Series and 7,929 during the year ending with the 2014 Series.

Random urine tests will increase from 3,200 to 4,800 in season and from 350 to 1,550 during the offseason, ensuring at least one offseason test for all 40-man roster players. Random blood tests rise from 260 to 500 in season and from 140 to 400 in the offseason.

As part of the mitigation provision, an arbitrator may reduce the penalty for a first-time violation to 30 games if a player shows the presence of a banned substance in his urine was not his fault. Previously, the limit for reduction was to 40 games.

For a second violation, the mitigation limit was dropped from 80 to 60.

The annual report of Dr. Jeffrey M. Anderson, the program's independent program administrator, was issued Friday and said there were 105 theraputic use exemptions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, down from 111 last year. There was one exemption each for hypertension and hypercalciuria (calcium in urine).

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