Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Baseball Gets Tough on Steroids

Major League Baseball players and owners agreed to toughen penalties for steroid use to a 50-game suspension for a first failed test and a lifetime ban for a third, The Associated Press learned.

The deal, which also adds testing for amphetamines, was described to the AP by two congressional aides on condition of anonymity because it had not been officially announced.

A formal announcement was planned for later Tuesday, a baseball official told the AP.

Baseball's current steroid penalties are a 10-day suspension for a first offense, 30 days for a second offense, and 60 days for a third. The earliest a player could be banned for life is a fifth offense.

The sport's second new steroids agreement in 10 months came after lengthy negotiations prompted by urging from Congress -- including the threat of legislation that would require higher penalties and stricter testing standards.