Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are planning on discussing increased punishments for those who test positive for banned substances, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The two sides are currently going through their annual review of the Joint Drug Agreement.
Discussions would come in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal which saw the suspension of 14 players. Of those 14, 12 received 50-game punishments, the agreed-upon penalty for first-time offenders under the current agreement. Two -- Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez -- received more than 50 games.
Braun was the first player to be suspended and received a 65-game penalty, resulting in him missing what was left of the 2013 season at the time. Rodriguez, however, was suspended for 211 games, the sum of what was left of 2013 and all of 2014. The Yankees third baseman was the only player to appeal and as such was able to continue playing in 2013. He recently saw his suspension knocked down to just all of the 2014 season, including the playoffs.
Under the current JDA, adopted in 2006, first-time offenders for performance-enhancing drugs receive 50-game suspensions. That increases to 100 games for the second offense and a lifetime ban for the third. Along with accompanying fines, convictions of use of other prohibited substances result in suspensions of 15-30 days for the first offense, 30-90 days for the second, a minimum of one year for the third and a minimum of two years for the fourth. Any subsequent convictions will result in a penalty of the commissioner's choosing.
Major League Baseball has been on a mission to remove drugs from the game over the past decade. That includes toughening up punishments and having more comprehensive testing. The league's goal appears to be the complete eradication of performance-enhancing drugs from the game.