NFL calling for tougher drug tests, baseball is struggling to keep on par with the plans that the football league is enforcing, according to the New York Times. In a statement released by his office, Commissioner Bud Selig said baseball had the “toughest, most comprehensive drug testing program in professional sports.” However, last Friday, Selig’s office – along with the union representing baseball players – quietly released a report detailing the sport’s out-of-season drug tests. The commissioner’s office and the players union decided to release the numbers in an effort to make the drug program more transparent. The report, the first time the exact numbers of off-season tests had been released, said that slightly more than 10 percent of baseball players had been tested for drugs in the 2010 off-season. Compare this to the NFL, where all players were tested at least once – and half tested twice – accounting for 4,000 tests. The 138 off-season tests in 2010 cited in the report accounted for just 3 percent of all the tests conducted on players in the course of the year. “We see in most parts of the world that the most effective programs have 50 percent of their tests in competition and 50 percent out of competition,” said David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees the testing of Olympic athletes. Over the last decade, steroid use in baseball has tainted the careers of some of the sport’s marquee players, turned off fans, led to criminal prosecutions and haunted dealings between management and the players union. With the recent news coming out regarding Barry Bonds and Manny Ramirez, the MLB has to restore its public image – figures coming out like these certainly aren’t going to help. Your move MLB and Selig.]]>
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