Tag Archives: MLB

Reyes & the MLB Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy

December 13, 2015


By Alexandra Del Vecchio – Thompson Rivers University JD Student

In August 2015 Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association proudly introduced their Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The policy provides avenues for the MLB to deal with instances and accusations of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse by its players. It has been widely reported that discussions with respect to this new policy began, and were treated as a priority, in light of the various issues faced by the National Football League in recent years. In particular, the Ray Rice incident and the league’s handling of that situation is said to have accelerated MLB’s discussions of the policy.

The new joint policy has many interesting aspects. The MLB commissioner is granted considerable authority under the policy; he is responsible for investigating accusations of this nature, has the ability to put the player on paid administrative leave during the investigation, and the task of setting an appropriate penalty where warranted.

Notably, the commissioner’s imposition of a penalty is not governed by limitations, penalties are not dependent on criminal conviction, and the player’s team is not involved in penalty decisions unless asked. The policy also purports to take a comprehensive approach to addressing these accusations; the MLB has noted that the policy protects the legal rights of players, treats violations seriously, holds players accountable with appropriate means and perhaps most importantly, provides resources, such as a 24-hour helpline, for the intervention and care of victims, families and the players.

While the policy has encountered some criticism, its announcement has generally been met with a great deal of positivity and optimism. The MLB and MLBPA have also been applauded for both their collaboration and proactivity. It cannot be denied that the introduction of this policy is, at minimum, an important step in addressing these issues. It certainly seems as though the MLB is at least prepared to take a strong stance on these matters. That said, thus far the utility of the new policy has remained untested.

On October 31st, Jose Reyes was arrested in the state of Hawaii. It has been reported that Reyes is charged with abuse of a family or household member; he is alleged to have assaulted his wife while the couple was on vacation. Reyes is a shortstop for the Colorado Rockies. And so, we will now see the new measures in action; Reyes will be the first MLB player dealt with under the new joint policy. In reference to this matter, the MLB has commented that it understands the seriousness of the issues and harms of domestic violence, as evidenced by its policy. The MLB’s current commissioner Rob Manfred has indicated that an investigation, pursuant to the policy, is now underway. He has also acknowledged that this will be the policy’s first test and expressed his confidence that it will withstand that test.

It will undoubtedly be interesting and informative to watch this matter unfold. The MLB treatment of Reyes will provide a strong indicator of how seriously they intend to treat these types of issues and it will surely set the tone for its future application. Though the MLB & MLBPA have presented themselves as being serious about the issues and harms of domestic violence by implementing the policy, due to the vagueness of its investigation and penalty procedures there are some concerns.

While the policy and these aspects of it could allow the MLB to take a strong stance on Reyes actions, the opposite is also true. As the policy contains no guarantees or guidelines regarding the investigation, who is to say it will be sufficiently thorough or unbiased? Further, absent guidelines or limitations around penalties, should findings warranting a penalty be made, there is not guarantee it will be met with something truly meaningful.
But with any luck, these concerns will be proven unnecessary. As the Reyes investigation and the commissioner’s response to it unfold, hopefully the positivity regarding this policy will remain intact as the MLB proves it is as serious about these issues as their policy suggests.


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Attention NFL, NBA, & MLB: There’s A Big World Out There

November 7, 2015


By Douglas Cottier – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

In the next fortnight, the World Series will culminate and Major League Baseball will have a new titleholder. When this happens, it will be yet another occurrence of an American-based league making an outrageously abhorrent claim which should be legally prohibited: the winner of MLB baseball will be anointed “World Champions”.

Along with the MLB, the NBA and the NFL are also guilty of this appalling claim. Throughout the history of these three leagues, the championship teams have hung banners in their stadiums and bejewelled their players with rings that read “World Champions” having only bettered competition from the United States of America (and one team from Canada in the case of the NBA and MLB).

The common justification for this fallacy is that the best athletes in the respective sports play in these leagues, therefore their champions are surely capable of defeating any external opposition. Whether or not this is true is absolutely irrelevant. You are either a champion of the world or you are not, there is no place for opinion or speculation. It is entirely a matter of fact and the undeniable certainty is that a team that only competes in approximately one two-hundredth of the geopolitical globe is not a world champion, and there is no explanation that makes it even remotely justifiable.

The best basketball players in the world play in the NBA, which for the sake of argument provides the highest level of basketball competition on the planet. Any basketball savant would agree and would likely also agree that the next best quality of basketball is played in Europe, in the Euroleague. In the past season across the Atlantic, twenty-four clubs from twelve different European countries (who have surpassed clubs from even more countries in qualifying rounds) competed for the Euroleague title. The victors were Real Madrid of Spain who are the current European Champions of club basketball. This title cannot be disputed as any worthy opponent from any European country had the opportunity to compete. Despite reigning supreme over an entire continent, the Euroleague has the humility to never even have the faintest notion of using the term “World Champions”. This is fundamentally due to its outright incorrectness, but more practically because roughly three-quarters of the world would be unrepresented.

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals this past June, making them the best of twenty-nine American clubs (and one Canadian club), and will raise a “World Champions” banner at the commencement of the new NBA season. Less than two percent of the countries of the world are represented by the NBA. The incontestable reality is that the Warriors are NBA Champions, no more and no less. Not only is the use of the term “World Champions” factually wrong, it is shockingly arrogant and egotistic, and only these American leagues have the audacity to make such a disgraceful assertion. This is illustrated by the fact that this trend does not extend to the National Hockey League, a league which is 23% Canadian, whose titleholders are accurately designated “Stanley Cup Champions”.

The problem is that these leagues erroneously feel entitled to make a statement that is one-hundred percent incorrect, which generates a completely unsubstantiated superiority complex amongst impressionable followers. The detestably vain use of the term “World Champions” will perpetuate in American-based professional sports leagues until it is legally forbidden; perhaps foreign leagues could file an action in fraud or misrepresentation. A more probable resolution would be rational thinkers in the public eye like longtime San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (whose team is the only one to aptly hang “NBA Champions” banners) communicating its categorical incorrectness. Coach Popovich made the following statement in 2010:

“There are no World Champions in the NBA, so anybody that has the flag up that says world champions is not correct, it’s not appropriate. The world champions, I believe, are the Spanish team right now. USA is the Olympic champion. The Lakers are the NBA champion. It doesn’t make sense for an NBA team to call themselves world champions. I don’t remember anybody playing anybody outside our borders to get that tag. Isn’t that true? I keep waiting for somebody to tell me I’ve missed something. The world’s bigger than North America. I know sometimes we as arrogant Americans don’t respond to the rest of the world, but it’s true. There’s a big world out there.”

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When Athletes Take Violence Off the Field: How Do We Address It?

November 7, 2015


By Emily Raven – Thompson Rivers University 2L JD Student

It seems that almost every week there is a new article in the news discussing an athlete that has been charged with Domestic Violence. Last month it was Australian rugby legend Hazem El-Masri. El-Masri, an ambassador for the anti-violence “White Ribbon” campaign, was arrested on Monday October 19th in his home in Sydney after attacking his wife who is 15 years younger than him. These headlines come with a disappointing and depressing regularity.

In the past ten years, 29 out of 32 NFL teams have dealt with players who faced domestic violence charges. Since 2006, in the NFL alone, 56 players have been charged with domestic violence. Sports leagues, governments and viewers struggle to cope with the increasing number of these incidents. Some scholars believe that this issue stems from athletics, especially contact sports such as football or Mixed Martial Arts. These are “High Violence Occupations,” so the environment is highly aggressive and can be a potential accelerator for domestic violence. However, athletes charged with domestic violence are not bound by any particular sport or gender.

So, who is best to respond to this social issue? Should viewers stop watching in protest? Not likely, although some may. Is the problem that domestic violence laws are too weak or that athletes aren’t prosecuted as harshly? Possibly. An obvious example of this is Ray Rice’s admission into a pre-trial intervention program, saving him from any jail time, probation or criminal record as long as he did not commit another offence. This was his punishment for knocking his girlfriend unconscious on video. The program that Rice was accepted into has a 1% acceptance rate. The laws in New Jersey are similar to those in Canada which steer first time offenders towards counselling rather than incarceration, especially when the victim stays in the relationship or refuses to testify. This was the situation in the case of Rice, whose victim is now his wife. What happened to Rice is not uncommon.

Is part of the answer to the problem of violence off the field tougher laws for perpetrators of domestic violence and new laws to protect victims? In New Jersey there is currently a bill before the legislature to allow domestic violence victims to testify via closed circuit video if the victim is too scared to testify in front of the abuser. The Canadian Criminal Code already has provisions that give trial judges discretion to allow testimonial accommodations (including testifying via closed circuit video, or with the aid of a screen) for vulnerable persons. This is a significant issue when the abuser has a high public profile as the media will likely hound the victim as well as the abuser.
Some believe that the solution lies within the sports leagues themselves. Professional leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB aren’t guided by the rules of criminal justice system. Instead they create policies and determine disciplinary outcomes for players using a combination of factors including Collective Bargaining Agreements, commissioners and arbitration rulings. Most professional leagues have general conduct policies, but some leagues have taken a step further to develop policies specifically for domestic violence.

The latest league to do so in August 2015 was Major League Baseball (MLB), which created a policy to address domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse cases. The policy gives the commissioner ultimate power to determine a player’s punishment with no minimum or maximum and no precedents affecting his decisions. MLB teams have no say in the decision unless asked and the commissioner has the power to put players on a paid administrative leave for up to seven days before the decision is made.

Under this new policy, player and Player Association cooperation is mandatory. Players who wish to appeal their rulings must go before a three-person panel including an independent arbitrator. An interesting part of the policy is “Prior precedent and past practice of disciplining players for engaging in an act of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse may not be relied upon by a player to support a challenge to the severity of his discipline, but that all other disciplinary past practice and precedent will remain relevant.” In other words, a player can’t use the fact that these types of cases haven’t been fully prosecuted in the past as a defence.

The MLB’s policy has been criticized for being very similar to the inefficient NFL’s policy. However an important evolution to be noted in the new policy is that the MLB commissioner will not act as his own arbitrator; the MLB commissioner will have to defer all appeals to a three-person panel. This gives new meaning to the words “appeal” and “independent investigator” from the NFL policy. The MLB is also taking a step in the right direction from the NBA and NHL, both of which do not have policies specifically addressing domestic violence.

Is domestic violence perpetrated by professional athletes a societal problem that should be addressed with new and stricter laws or is it a problem best solved within the sports leagues? This is really a question of what governs a professional athlete’s conduct off the field – society’s laws or the professional leagues’ rules of conduct? Nobody, including a professional athlete is above the law. However, the MLB’s new policy may help to deter professional athletes from conduct that will bring them into conflict with the law. Only time will tell if this policy will help reduce the rate of domestic violence and other forms of abuse in the MLB.

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Taken out at the Ball Game: Spectator Safety and the Assumption of Risk Doctrine

October 13, 2015


By Ian Walker – Thompson Rivers University 3L JD Student

A long-time Oakland Athletics fan is suiting Major League Baseball in a proposed class-action lawsuit. The suit claims the league does too little to protect fans from fast-moving balls and splintered bats, particularly along the first- and third-base lines.

The lead plaintiff and season ticket holder, Gail Payne, feels vulnerable because her seats are not protected by netting and a fan beside her was injured by a foul ball. The lawsuit cited a 2014 study by Bloomberg News that says that 1,750 spectators are injured annually at MLB games.

The suit claims a number of factors have increased the risk to spectators, including pitchers who throw harder, bats that splinter more easily, the league-wide initiative to increase the speed of the game, and modern distractions like video monitors, in-arena Wi-Fi, and interactive apps on smartphones.

The suit also claims that MLB’s failure to extend protective netting is “particularly egregious” since it installed netting in front of dugouts and required first- and third-base coaches to wear helmets, while spectators just as close to the action are left with no protection.

The case brings to light an important doctrine of sports-related negligence cases: the assumption of risk doctrine. According to legal historian J. Gordon Hylton, the doctrine’s application to baseball can be traced to the 1913 Missouri Court of Appeals decision in Crane v. Kansas City Baseball & Exhibition Co. The case decided that because Crane had chosen to sit in an unprotected seat, he had assumed the risk of his injury from a foul ball. The court held, however, that the operator of the ballpark was not completely free from a duty of care to its patrons. The court applied the business visitor rule, holding that the defendants “were not insurers of the safety of spectators; but, being engaged in the business of providing a public entertainment for profit, they were bound to exercise reasonable care, i.e., care commensurate to the circumstances of the situation, to protect their patrons against injury.” This care did not extend to providing entirely protected seating, but only required providing some protected seating for those who desired it.

Hylton explains that the decision in Crane, despite its origins in a fairly obscure court, has been followed in almost all subsequent foul ball injury cases and its principles continue to govern today. The decision seeks to obtain a balance between fan safety and fan entertainment. Because owners do not have a duty to protect all seating with protective netting or to warn spectators of the risks of foul balls, fans choosing to sit in unprotected areas in order to get closer to the action are held to have taken on the risk of any injury related to sitting in such seats. To most fans, the entertainment value has typically outweighed the (relatively small) risk of injury. This recent class action suit, however, seeks to modernize the issues and shift the entertainment-safety balance by expanding the park operator’s duty of care.

Many such cases have come forth and have been dismissed on the basis of the assumption of risk doctrine, and perhaps it is likely this latest one will suffer the same fate. However, the case raises the issue of whether an obscure decision from 1913 should continue to govern spectator injury cases in our modern world. The class action suit’s mention of modern realities – stronger players, faster gameplay, technological distractions – highlights legitimate and important differences between the fan experience now and what it would have been during Crane’s time. With such differences in mind, it may be an appropriate time to reconsider the doctrine of assumption of risk and its application to the modern spectator experience.

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1, 2 3 Bites You’re Out: The Possibility of Liability Stemming from Baseballs Contribution to America’s Obesity Epidemic

October 5, 2015


By Cole Rodocker – Thompson Rivers University 3L JD Student

Mom, Apple Pie and Baseball. All quintessentially American, all extremely bad for your health. With governments across the world encouraging participation in sport as a way of battling obesity, it should come as no surprise that many would push their aspiring Ryan’s and Ruth’s towards baseball, a sport more wholesome than most, cheaper than most, and far less susceptible to traumatic brain injury.

Unfortunately, the great American past time may in fact be doing more harm than good to the spectators it entertains and the children playing the sport itself. The result of a mostly sedentary sport and food provided at baseball games may beg the question as to whether more should be done by the MLB in order to facilitate the health of its players and fans. If a football player can sue for inevitable head trauma, why can’t a baseball player or fan sue for a concentrated push towards obesity? The MLB has been sued on numerous occasions over other health related safety concerns, claims that baseball has made someone fat may be right around the corner.

Baseball is well known for its feats of agility and raw power. Baseball is also known as being an extremely slow game for fans and players alike. With television viewership tanking, the MLB has implemented new procedural rules in order to eliminate some of the downtime, thereby speeding up the game without changing any of the fundamental rules. That being said, sitting down is inevitable; this goes for the players as well. During a game with a low score line, players in the outfield might languish until their turn at bat arrives, only to be quickly struck out and find themselves on the pine until they are forced into the field again. Recent studies have shown the catastrophic effects of sitting for more than 8-12 hours on the human body, an effect that in many instances is not even mitigated by regular exercise. The 7th inning stretch may need to be augmented by a 3rd, 5th, and even 9th inning stretch in order to combat the perils of sitting too long.

Even if one trains and strives to be the best they can be physically, baseball stadiums themselves may be a significantly to the increasing waistlines of North Americans. No one has ever asked to have a salad bought for them in lieu of peanuts and crackerjacks. Local sport concessions are predominantly full of less perishable foodstuffs such as soda, candy, hot dogs, etc, which are terrible for players and fans alike. Larger MLB stadiums have begun to diversify their food offerings, yet many of them are known for colossally calorific creations that might make skinnier fans shake their heads in disbelief. The Arizona Diamondbacks are known for the “D-Bat Dog”, a monstrous 18 inch long corn dog stuff with peppers, bacon and cheese, while the Tampa Bay Rays are known for a 4 pound burger which weighs in at over 8000 calories. For those with a sweet tooth, the Texas Rangers have you covered with the “Fried S’mOreo” which, unfortunately, requires little explanation.

As a corpus of law, “obesity litigation” has been generally unsuccessful, especially now that legislation is in place across more than half of the United States that prevents chain restaurants from being sued precisely because they made someone fat. Proving that a customer was duped into thinking something was healthy when it is in fact not has been successful in multiple instances, not the least of which was a recent class action lawsuit against Nutella. Baseball stadiums would be wise not to misjudge the perceptions surrounding the food they sell.

Thankfully, many stadiums also contain healthier options, not the least of which is the widely acclaimed “Veggie Cheesesteak” served up by the Philadelphia Phillies. The MLB is also a major partner in President Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign aimed at engendering better health for children through sport and improved diet. This will hopefully have its desired effect, but it should come as no surprise that the MLB would be so keen to partner in such an initiative. The sport itself and its various trappings create fertile ground for lawsuits concerning baseballs effect on obesity, especially in children participating in programs such as Let’s Move. While the MLB is not solely to blame for the obesity epidemic, it should certainly consider doing more at the grass roots level to both save itself from future litigation, as well as truly enhance the lives of its players and fans.

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Baseball player injected with stem cells returns to the mound

June 2, 2011


Even though the world failed to end as predicted on May 21st, it appears now the stars are in a positive alignment. In the last 48 hours, the NHL has returned to Winnipeg, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals by scoring with 19 seconds left in the game, and my 8 year old son’s soccer/football team (the Black Knights) whom I coach won 5-2. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

Meanwhile, in other sports news …

The New York Times recently reported (read article here) that Major League Baseball (MLB) is conducting an inquiry into a medical procedure performed on Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon. The procedure involved stem cells being injected into his damaged shoulder and elbow.

MLB’s executive vice-president for labour relations, Rob Manfred, said players are required to disclose their health history on a standard form and that failure to do so could be viewed as a breach of a player’s contract.

The American surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Joseph R. Purita, is a proponent of using human growth hormone in such treatments, but he has insisted that HGH was not used in Colon’s case. HGH is banned in baseball and by WADA.

Kris and I have written extensively about the interface of technology with sport which has been pejoratively described as technological doping. We’ve tried to wrap our heads around what performance enhancement means and distinguishing between different kinds of technology-inspired performance.

To this end, we’ve definitionally proposed that performance correction returns an athlete’s performance to its pre-existing condition, performance optimization enables an athlete to make the best use of their ability, and performance enhancement allows an athlete to do what would not otherwise be conceivably possible and thereby exceed genetic potential.

Lasik surgery which returns an athlete’s visual acuity to a normal range is an example of performance correction. Examples of performance optimization include exotic energy drinks and protein shakes, massage therapy, and training with a heart rate monitor. Genetic manipulation, blood doping and EPO are examples of performance enhancement which are regarded as illegal.

Dr. Purita insists that no HGH was administered (“There is no smoking gun here” he is quoted as saying) and hence Colon would not be in violation of the MLB’s anti-doping policy. It appears equally improbable that Colon would receive anything more than a slap on the wrist for breach of contract by not disclosing the procedure on his health history form.

But the question left unanswered is whether this stem cell surgery is tantamount to other medical procedures such as EPO and blood doping. MLB President Bob DuPuy has properly characterized (read article here) those performance enhancement techniques as improper if they undermine the integrity of the sport, affects the fairness of competition, and tilts the playing field.

Is a technique which ‘turns back the hands of time’  – and makes a 37 year old pitcher who once won the American League Cy Young Award for best pitcher but whose best years were clearly behind him – and returns him to the mound with a 95 mile per hour fastball legal? Is this an instance of science enabling Colon to do what would not otherwise be possible or is it an example of modern medicine prolonging the career of an athlete through technologically-inspired means?

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It takes a law degree to be a sports fan nowadays

February 2, 2011


George Vecsey of the New York Times wrote a tongue-in-cheek yet truthful piece yesterday whose byline is ‘It takes a law degree to be a sports fan these days, what with the backlog of legal cases involving champions named Bonds and Clemens and Armstrong.’

Citing the usual suspects plus sundry sad stories involving the National Football League and Major League Baseball (‘Jose Canseco insisted he and Mark McGwire used to shoot up in the loo. What kind of sport is this?’), it makes for a fun read.

Click here for the story.

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Bond’s Trial Update

February 16, 2009


More developments have been reported in the trial of Barry Bonds (7 times winner of Baseball’s Most Valuable Player Award). Bonds was implicated in the BALCO Scandal and subsequently indicted on 10 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice following his grand jury testimony in 2003, where he denied receiving any steroid injections. The trial is due to start on March 2nd.

The latest news following last week’s controversy over whether Bond’s positive drug tests could be admitted as evidence (the government also laid out a series of positive tests from 2000 and 2001 that it hopes to enter as evidence. The positive test results, as well as doping calendars and drug ledgers, were discussed at an evidentiary hearing last week. Illston indicated she was likely to rule in favor of the defense, suggesting the evidence was mostly hearsay because it stemmed from material collected by Anderson).

is that the government has now released a list of 39 potential witnesses who are expected to testify that they either watched Bond’s receive steroid injections from his personal trainer (Greg Anderson), or that he discussed this matter with them. Anderson is also expected to be called to the stand, however the last time this happened, Anderson ended up spending 13 months in prison on contempt charges.

The next development should happen on Tuesday where the Judge will release her preliminary findings on the admissibility (or otherwise) of the evidence.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3906484&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

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6-OXO contains steroids

February 16, 2009


ESPN reports that: JC Romero (pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies Baseball team) has tested positive for androstenedione (an anabolic steroid). The substance was contained in an over-the-counter supplement called 6-OXO.

An arbitration panel of Major League Baseball (MLB) has now suspended JC for the first 50 games of this season for “negligence” in not checking out the supplement with their toll-free drug hotline run by the National Center for Drug-Free Sport. JC feels particularly hard done by as he maintains that he was not aware of the existence of the hotline until after he tested positive for the violation, despite efforts from MLB to bring it to player’s attentions.

“It’s for you guys to decide what negligence means,” Romero said. “But I [asked] my nutritionist and my strength coach I’ve been working with. I took my supplements to another person to make sure the label didn’t have anything that … had any kind of banned substance.”

Since JC’s violation, the MLBPA Players union has sent a memo to all baseball players warning them that the supplement would cause them to test positive for the steroid.

Although the suspension will cost Romero $1.25 million in salary, before you start feeling too sorry, just consider that 6-oxo is advertised as a ‘legal testosterone-booster’ and was apparently designed by Patrick Arnold (the same chemist who designed THG and was implicated in the BALCO scandal). Surely these two facts should have set alarm bells ringing?

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/news/story?id=3907318&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ; http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3813666


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Alex Rodriguez admits to steroid use earlier in his career

February 11, 2009


US  Baseball superstar, Alex Rodriguez has admitted to testing positive for steroid use in 2003 before Major League Baseball (MLB) introduced its anti-drugs regime (penalties were only introduced from 2004 onwards):

“According to Sports Illustrated magazine, Rodriguez – playing at the time for the Texas Rangers – was one of 104 players with positive results. Major League Baseball maintains that the 2003 tests were “intended to be non-disciplinary and anonymous”, and that the list should have remained confidential.” MLB have so far refused to comment on these allegations.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7880287.stm

Rodriguez himself is reported to have said that: “When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform at a high level every day. I started experimenting with things that, today, are not legal, that today are not accepted. “Back then, it was a different culture [surrounding drugs]. It was very loose. I was young and naive. I am sorry for my Texas years. I apologise to the fans of Texas.”

A transcript of the interview can be downloaded at: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3895281

Rodriguez was one of 104 major league players who tested positive for steroids in baseball’s first-ever drug-testing program in 2003. It was supposed to be a confidential test. But his test result was leaked to the media, and now the other 103 players are left to wonder if their test results will play out in the media, too. “The matter is still under appeal,” union executive director Don Fehr said, “so we have to assume that the law will be respected.”

Indeed, if prosecutors are allowed to use the list and bring players before grand juries and trial courts, additional stars might be forced to admit they used steroids. “It’s definitely not fair to just pinpoint one guy,” Boston’s Kevin Youkilis said of his Yankees rival. “I don’t know if somebody had it in for him. I don’t know what because it seems like just to take one name out of that whole group is a little odd to me. If he was named with 10 other players, would that have been fair? I don’t know? If they’d have listed all 104?”

Although the MLB agreed to destroy the results of the testing programme, these results were later seized by the government as part of its investigation into steroid distribution by BALCO, the Bay Area-based supplement company before they could be destroyed. Fehr later went to court and got three different judges to say that the government was wrong and, in fact, had violated the constitutional rights of the players and of the players’ association, and ordered it to give it all back. A three-judge panel in California overturned that decision 2-1, allowing the government to pursue all 104 players who tested positive pending further appeals. It is unknown how many of the BALCO 10 were included in that total. Then the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the panel’s decision, and began hearing arguments in the case late last December. Until they make their final ruling, there are 103 players wondering if their private records are safe.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3898393http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3896888&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

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