Prohibited Substance Thursday: Year-round testing?

Major League Baseball is in discussions with its players’ union to expand performance-enhancing drug testing for the 2013 season, union chief Michael Weiner said yesterday.

After the union’s annual executive board meeting at a Manhattan hotel, Weiner said, “We’ve had discussions with MLB about some ways to make the deterrent stronger,” Weiner said. “I would expect that you’ll see, before too long, some announcements in that area.”

“Testosterone appears to be a problem, or the use of testosterone by some players, and there are some things we’ve talked about to make sure the deterrent on testosterone is as strong as it can be,” Weiner said.

Some players have advocated for tougher penalties, but Weiner said he believes they are severe enough.

“We really believe the best way to deter conduct is to make it more likely that players will get caught,” he said.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, MLB began blood testing for HGH this year, but only in the offseason and during spring training. As players have grown more comfortable with blood tests, Weiner said, so has their willingness to undergo in-season tests.

“We’re having discussions with MLB that, if they’re fruitful, would have in-season testing, and frankly, the possibility of year-round testing for HGH,” Weiner said. “There’s not really an objection at this point. It was more, let’s go deliberately and make sure that guys are comfortable with it, and at this point everybody’s had a chance to have that kind of experience.”