Banned performance-enhancing drugs have no place in the MLB. Every day, regular season and offseason, players work their tails off to become the best player in the league the right way. The most recent player to abuse the MLB’s PED policy is Starling Marte, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ all-star left fielder.
Marte released an apology, stating: “I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much.”
However, unintentionally is not the word to use. The MLB has a clear cut list of banned substances and for a player to use one of those substances, intent is intended.
Nandrolone, a PED that promotes muscle growth and bone density, is an old-school drug that is rarely taken orally, instead, is injected. That Marte could “unintentionally” inject a performance enhancer is unlikely. Even if it was orally taken, Nandrolone is No. 45 on the list of banned substances for the MLB. A player can find out if what they are taking is banned in about a minute.
According to ESPN, while there were two-to-four major league suspensions annually from 2008 to 2011, the number increased to 12 in 2012, and 14 players were penalized in 2013. The suspensions in 2013 included All-Star names including Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rodriguez and Jhonny Peralta.
The number of big names continues to climb and while the penalty also continues to climb, the MLB needs to blatantly stiffen the penalty to further help players understand that PEDs don’t belong in the league.
In 2005, the league unanimously agreed to a penalty of a 10-day suspension for a first positive test, 30-day suspension for a second offense, 60-day suspension for a third offense, and a year suspension for the fourth offense. Toward the end of the 2005