Blog Entry

Baseball releases drug testing numbers

Posted on: December 1, 2010 5:52 pm
MLB and the players union today released an assessment performed by an independent third party on the state of baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

In it, Dr. Bryan W. Smith, the independent program administrator, noted the number of drug tests taken as numbering 3,747 tests. Of those, 17 tests were reported for findings that later warranted discipline.

There were two positive tests for performance enhancing drugs, those being of Clomiphene and Oxandrolone. The other 15 substances were of the stimulant variety, including 13 tests for Adderall. The remaining tests came on Clobenzorex and Phentermine.

Edinson Volquez and Ronny Paulino were the only major leaguers to test positive and be suspended.

However, quite a few exemptions were granted. They are:
  • Attention Deficit Disorder: 105
  • Hypertension: 2
  • Hypogonadism: 1
  • Narcolepsy: 1
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome: 1 
The one that jumps out is for ADD. Assuming that the 13 failed tests came from those who were not granted exemptions, that pushes the full total to 118. So how much of a percentage of baseball is that?

There were 1,132 players to either hit or pitch in the major leagues in 2010. The drug test program, however, applies to all those on the 40-man roster. If one assumes over the course of the season that five never sniff the majors, an additional five are players that weren't on the 40-man to begin with (either out of organization or in the farm) and the last five do indeed contribute to the list above, that's 10 additional players subject to the program per team, 300 total. That churns the final mark to 1,432. There are multiple tests per player involved, so that number and the 3,737 total tests seem to jive.

That means that eight percent of all baseball players who were tested have ADHD. Compare that with 4.7 percent of all Americans.

Now, that doesn't mean that all players are greasing the skids to get supplements that can help them stay focused (although at least 13 tests were trying to grease the skids). After all, a fair amount of Americans may have the symptoms that go untreated, but are found for the athlete, both due to better available care and more of a willingness to do anything to improve at the game of baseball.

Still, the ADHD issue has been a thorn in the side of baseball for a while, and it won't go away now.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: MLB
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