MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, announced that the league will add new rules to its drug policy. A big factor that sparked the changes is the death of Tyler Skaggs. The Angels starter was found dead in his hotel room on July 1st. When the investigation was complete, unfortunately, it was determined that Skaggs died because of a toxic mix of alcohol and opioid related drugs.
“Many players from our side recognize that there was an opportunity to take a leadership role,” Tony Clark said. Clark also stated that this year’s event with Tyler only “heightened” the need of a change.
The MLB will begin testing its players for opioids, cocaine, and fentanyl. Players that test positive for these drugs will be held responsible for treatment plans. If this player fails to cooperate with the board’s treatment decision, further consequences will be set.
Before, the league had only tested players for performance enhancing drugs and banned stimulants. Most parties within baseball frown upon using PEDs. Close to nothing has been said about other illicit drugs. This is an obvious difference of the newly introduced treatment plan. It will include much more than just the steroids in testing. It will surely be interesting with how all of this will play out upon conviction.
MLB Removes Marijuana
The MLB players’ union and MLB in general has also announced the removal of marijuana off of the banned substance list. This goes for both minor leagues and majors. Once again, it has treatment instead of penalties for the convicted player.
From now on, the MLB will handle marijuana related conduct the same as alcohol related. Upon conviction, players are to attend a class. This class will offer the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana.
These changes will be in effect starting in Spring Training 2020. “It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks of opioids medications and contribute positively to a national conversation about this important topic,” Dan Halem said.
Author Twitter: @HunterSills2
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