The announcement that the new collective bargaining agreement provides for testing for HGH was a bit surprising, but the way it’s being implemented is kind of surprising too. Here’s a mashup of Buster Olney’s tweets in the past few minutes reporting on that:
On HGH testing: It’s TBD when/if it goes into effect. There will be a test of HGH testing in the upcoming spring training … Players will be blood tested this spring, to determine energy levels after testing; results of testing will be discarded … Then, after results of physical reaction to blood testing is determined, the two sides will determine when and how to proceed … The blood samples taken next spring training can be tested for HGH; the first offseason testing will start next winter, 2012-2013.
There’s a lot of prudence there. When the topic of blood testing was first mentioned several years ago there was concern that players giving blood would be detrimental to their conditioning and energy-levels. This phase-in/testing regime seems to address that.
But I do love the idea of these baseline blood tests being “discarded.” The last time that was promised for baseball drug testing a bunch of over-zealous feds seized all of the results, started prosecuting people and years of litigation ensured. Here’s hoping there’s a “must-destroy” date inserted in the final paperwork.