A Call for Tougher Penalties on PED Users

The greatest stain on Major League Baseball is the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. An entire era of baseball has been clouded with mystery over who was clean and who wasn‘t. Worst of all we will never truly know all who was using and slowly dissolving the greatness of the game. Baseball’s legendary players, such as Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, and countless others were eclipsed by the stench of cheaters. Home run records were broken and milestones surpassed, all unfairly. This had to change or else the game would eventually be decimated by scandal and a drift into obscurity.

March 2014 brings tougher penalties for PED Users

Under the newly revised PED policy in March 2014, punishments increased and now stand as follows:

  • First violation necessitates an 80 game suspension.
  • Second violation requires suspension for 162 games and loss of salary during the period in question.
  • Players caught using PED’s will also be suspended for all postseason activity, should their teams advance to the playoffs.
  • Recently more blood and urine samples have been added to the MLB testing regimen, and a substance known as Didehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been banned.

Subsequent to positive testing, consultation will occur between the league and said player in question to determine actual intent; whether to enhance performance or to assist with recovery from injury. There is an obvious difference between all-stars, such as Alex Rodriguez, who allegedly consumed PED’s to enhance their market value on and off the field, versus attempts of aid in recovery from serious long-term injuries.


There have been great advances in attempts to level the playing field. However, it has not been enough and more needs to be done.

Since the infamous All-Star Game 7-7 tie back in 2002. The MLB has tried to make the All-Star Game matter more to the players and leagues. Nowadays, the winning league of the All-Star Game has had home-field advantage in the World Series. Any player that is caught using a banned substance like PED’s should be disqualified from the All-Star game for a period of time. If a known cheater aids his team to victory in the All-Star Game, then he is still tainting the game.

Currently, players like Melky Cabrera and Ryan Braun are in the hunt for an All-Star appearances and are doing extremely well in voting for the All-Star starters.

They have paid for their violations under MLB law with suspensions they’ve already served. Every player should have a chance at redemption, especially if it was their first violation. However, there still needs to be seven tiffer penalties for violating the MLB drug policy.

Contracts for PED Users

Jhonny Peralta was caught in the Biogenesis scandal last season, and he was suspended for it. However, during the off-season the St. Louis Cardinals rewarded him with a four-year, $52 million contract. Giving Peralta that big of a contract is rewarding someone who cheated and tainted baseball.

A big reason people use these drugs is because the pay-off is far greater than the risk. Therefore, there needs to be harsher penalties, such as banning them from the All-Star game and taking back a sizeable portion of their salary.

Some players will always look for an edge, but making the penalties outweigh the rewards may be the surest way to further clean up the game of baseball. To have an even playing field once again would sure be a lovely sight.


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