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MLB releases 2013 drug testing report

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There were 5,391 drug tests administered to players on 40-man rosters in the last year.

Patrick McDermott

Major League Baseball has released its 2013 drug testing report, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The report provides details on the quantity of tests administered, as well as the results of those tests.

The report, which covers the period of time including the 2012-13 offseason and the 2013 season, only includes players who were on 40-man rosters this year. There were 5,391 drug tests conducted, of which 4,022 were urine tests designed to detect performance-enhancing drugs and stimulants and 1,369 were blood tests intended to spot human growth hormone. This was the first year in which the league tested players for HGH.

Of the 5,391 tests administered, eight came back with positive results that led to discipline. All of the positive tests were for stimulants: seven for Adderall and one for Methylhexaneamine. The punishments were highlighted by a 25-game suspension for Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz and a 105-game ban for Royals infielder Miguel Tejada, who tested positive twice in rapid succession to earn himself the 25-game second offense and an 80-game third offense. The report also mentions the suspensions for the 13 players who were linked to Biogensis, although none of them actually tested positive for any substances.

Although Ruiz and Tejada were disciplined for their use of Adderall, an amphetamine which is commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder, that particular drug is not strictly prohibited in baseball. The league gave out 122 therapeutic use exemptions this season, of which 119 were for ADD and three were for Hypogonadism (a condition in which the sex glands produce little or no hormones.) Tejada had held an exemption for Adderall in 2012 due to his ADD, but reportedly forgot to file for a renewal and was subsequently hit with the suspension when he continued to take the drug without permission.

Overall, the numbers are very similar to those in the 2012 drug report. The number of tests increased slightly (5,136 tests in 2012), as did the number of exemptions (119 in 2012, all but three for ADD). However, the number of positive results went down; 18 players were disciplined due to test results in 2012, including Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, and Marlon Byrd. Four of the 18 positive tests were for testosterone, a substance for which no one tested positive in 2013.

The number of tests has increased dramatically in the last two years with the addition of blood testing to the process. A three-year report covering 2008-2010 shows that there were only 3,486 tests administered in 2008, 3,722 in 2009, and 3,747 in 2010.

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