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MLB, Union Need to Consider Tougher Drug Penalties, Selig Says

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March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Major League Baseball and players’ union officials have been asked to discuss tougher penalties for violators of the league’s drug policies, Commissioner Bud Selig said.

Selig asked Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, and MLB Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner to consider stiffer disciplinary action for players who test positive for banned substances.

“If people want to continue to do what they shouldn’t do, then the one thing that you have to do is you have to have stricter penalties,” Selig said yesterday at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ training field in Scottsdale. “It’s as simple as that.”

The current contract calls for a 50-game suspension for a first-time violation, 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test and a lifetime ban for a third offense.

Players are also subject to random in-season blood tests for human growth hormone and baseline testosterone readings.

Selig declined to disclose any plans for future drug-testing.

“The program is working fine, but I’ve come to the conclusion, the more I’ve thought about this, that obviously there’s some people, a small minority, who need to be given a tougher lesson,” Selig said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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