Baseball to Perform Blood Tests in Minor Leagues
In a press release, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced that effective immediately all Minor League players will be subjected to random blood testing for the detection of human growth hormone (HGH). This marks the first United States professional sports league to conduct blood testing.
“The implementation of blood testing in the Minor Leagues represents a significant step in the detection of the illegal use of human growth hormone," Selig said in the press release. "The Minor League Program employs state of the art testing procedures and the addition of HGH testing provides an example for all of our drug policies in the future."
The National Center for Drug Free Sport, which already performs urine sample collections under the Minor League Drug Program, will perform all blood sample collections. All samples will be collected from random players postgame from their non-dominant arms and shipped to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City for analysis.
Because Minor League players are not members of the Players Association, they do not fall under the blanket of the collective bargaining agreement.
“I think whatever has to be done to gain the full trust of the fans, we have to do whatever we can,” Dodger manager Joe Torre said. “I know Bud Selig is very passionate about the game whether you like him, don’t like him, think he’s doing a good job or not. I know he’s trying to do a good thing.”
Torre wasn’t sure if the blood testing is rolled out to the Major Leagues if it would cause a further regression of offensive numbers.
“We’re going to have to wait and see,” Torre said. “You’ve got some strong people out there that are probably taking the hit for the people who have used things.”
With the revelations of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Dodger left fielder Manny Ramirez testing positive for performance enhancing drugs not creating a full uproar, Torre does feel some of the trust has returned to the game.
“I hope so,” Torre said. “Aside from a gambling thing here and there back in the dark ages, it’s been pretty good as far as being able to trust it.
“To me I err on the side of trust. It’s the only way I can live.
SATURDAY STARTER. Torre announced that Carlos Monasterios will be the starter for Saturday.
“The only other option on our club right now would have been [James McDonald], and I just think we need his ability in the bullpen,” Torre said. “That’s going to be where he will best serve us at this point.”