MLB, players’ union resume drug testing after lockout ends

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NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the players’ association resumed drug testing Friday after an absence of nearly 3 1/2 months.

Testing with penalties had been in place from 2004 through last Dec. 1. It was halted the following day because of management’s lockout.

Opiates and opioids were clarified on the banned substance as prohibited both naturally and synthetically under drugs of abuse in the Joint Drug Program, part of the memorandum of agreement signed Thursday. MLB said they have been tested for since spring training in 2020.

Mandatory unannounced urine testing will be conducted at random times throughout spring training rather than in conjunction with physicals.

Blood testing for Human Growth Hormone will be conducted by dried blood spots rather than blood draws, subject to agreement by outside experts, although draws are allowed for reasonable cause.

Team physicians are allowed to write short-term prescriptions for pain medication as long as entered in the medical records system.

Follow-up testing following a positive test will run for 12 months starting the notice of discipline rather than the collection of the sample. The sides also agreed to a joint investigation on whether contaminated meat products in the Dominican Republic could cause positive tests for the performance-enhancing substances Boldenone and Nandrolone.