USA baseball proposes "three strikes" rule for steroid abuse

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Monday, May 2, 2005

Baseball commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig has proposed a new steroids use policy for the game. The plan calls for a 50-game suspension of a player testing positive for the first time, a 100-game ban for a second offense, and on a third violation the player is out with a lifetime ban from the game.

In an April 25th letter written to Don Fehr (Executive Director of the Players Association) and all major league team owners, Selig wrote, "Steroid users cheat the game." So far this season, four less-than-big-name major league players have been suspended. Under the current policy, each player is forced to sit out 10 games.

The ball is now thrown to Fehr, who said over the weekend the union was not ready to discuss it. An answer from the players union will probably be forthcoming some time this week.

Congressional hearings on steroids in baseball were held March 17. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee, said, "It's weaker than the policy Congress is considering, but significantly stronger than baseball's current policy."

Testifying at the hearings, Fehr said, “My personal view, this is not an institutional view I'm expressing now, my personal view is that our job with violations of substance abuse is not to destroy careers. Our job is to stop it."

Selig also wants to add amphetamines list of banned substances in the major leagues.