Major League Baseball players and owners have agreed to toughen penalties for steroid use starting on January 1. The new agreement also increases the number of tests and adds testing for amphetamines.
The deal announced Tuesday calls for a 50-game suspension for a first failed test and 100 games for a second offense. The third positive test brings a lifetime ban, but the player will have the right to apply for reinstatement after two years and an arbitrator is allowed to review the reinstatement decision.
The new standards are much tougher than the penalties that went into effect last January. Currently there is a 10-day suspension for the first offense, 30 days for a second offense, and 60 days for a third. Players cannot receive lifetime bans until the fifth offense.
The new steroid policy comes following lengthy negotiations prompted by a Congressional threat of legislation that would have required higher penalties and stricter testing standards.