There Would Be Analysis But No Opioid Suspensions In MLB

MIAMI (AP) – Players who test positive for opioids in analysis should undergo treatment but will not be suspended, in accordance with the modifications to the anti-drug agreement negotiated between the Major League office and the union.

Tony Clark, the general director of the baseball union, gave this news about the conversations on the matter, which began this year after the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels. Since 2004, players have been tested for substances that improve performance. In 2006, tests were added to discover prohibited stimulants.

"We believe with all my heart, as always, that the option of treatment and not disciplinary action is the best way forward," Clark said Wednesday, when the union's executive board concluded its annual meeting.

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The union and the majors have reached an agreement in that regard, Clark said. He said the agreement would be added during this break between campaigns.

"I am quite confident that we are going there," Clark said.

Skaggs was found lifeless in his hotel room in the Dallas metropolitan area on July 1, before the start of a series against the Texas Rangers. A forensic office reported that the 27-year-old pitcher was drowned in his own vomit, after consuming a toxic mixture of alcohol and the fentanyl and oxycodone analgesics.

Clark spoke after three days of union meetings. The 30 representatives of the players attended.

Elvis Andrus of the Rangers became the first Venezuelan elected to the executive subcommission.

The meetings focused on preparations for the negotiations of a new collective agreement, which began long before December 2021, the expiration date of the current agreement.

"We spent a lot of time talking about the economy of the industry and player markets," Clark explained. "We are not near a point of submission of proposals or formal involvement."

The union talked about measures to speed up the development of the games. Among the members, there would not be much enthusiasm about a Major League proposal to require a pitcher to face at least three batters starting next season.

The seniors office has the right to change the rule for 2020, even without an agreement with the union.

The guild has resisted these changes aimed at reducing the duration of the games.

"We have seen a sport that has changed dramatically over the past four or five years, and I am not aware that there is still a clear answer to the type of sport we want to have," Clark said. “The boys are very worried about the constant discussions about the changes. If we want to make extraordinary changes, we will have to call this another way. Don't call it baseball. ”

Clark considered that the union was receptive to the idea of ​​reducing the breaks between each inning during a regular campaign to one minute and 55 seconds. This is another change that the commissioner's office could apply unilaterally by 2020.

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Steven Wine is on Twitter as: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine.


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