Major League Baseball is poised to make two significant changes to its drug policy. In negotiation with the MLB Players Association, the League is planning to introduce opioid testing for its players while at the same time removing the ban on marijuana.
Currently, while no athlete holding a spot on an MLB 40-man roster is tested for the recreational drug, those playing in their minor leagues are tested regularly. 13 players faced suspension for marijuana use under the policy last year.
Penalties for violating the pot ban for minor-leaguers were surprisingly severe. A first positive test carried a 25 game suspension, a second positive test got 50 games, 100 games for a third, and after 4 positive tests, a player was banned for life.
While no formal agreement has been made, representatives of both sides hope to have something worked out by the end of the year.
? Opioid use became a high profile concern of MLB earlier this year following the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Toxicology reports showed two different opioids in Skaggs' body at the time of his death.