Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are working toward increasing penalties for players caught using performance-enhancing drugs while also decreasing penalties for players testing positive unintentionally, the Associated Press reports.
The AP report notes that now a first positive test would result in a 100-game suspension while a second would trigger a full-season suspension. A third test would then result in a lifetime ban, which was already the rule in place. At present, it's a 50-game suspension for a first offense, followed by a 100-game ban for a second offense.
On the flip-side, players who test positive for inadvertant use would only be nailed with half a violation. It will be intersting to see how MLB and the MLBPA believes they can prove accidental use, but here are two examples provided by the Associated Press:
Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended for 50 games in June 2012 for a Clostebol Metabolite, which he later claimed was contained in a foot cream he used. Reliever Guillermo Mota, then with San Francisco, was suspended for 100 games in May 2012 after taking a cough syrup with Clenbuterol.
The current expectation is that MLB will have the new system in place before Sunday, when the Dodgers and Padres open the non-Australian part of the 2014 MLB regular season.