The advent of an apparently reliable blood test for Human Growth Hormone could test the relative harmony between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association when it comes to drug policy.
The MLBPA has said it would support a urine tests but seems to consider a blood test an invasion of privacy. Here is part of their statement tonight:
Inherent in blood testing of athletes are concerns of health, safety, fairness and competition not associated with urine testing. We have conferred initially with the Commissioner's Office about this reported positive test, as we do regarding any development in this area. We look forward to continuing to jointly explore all questions associated with this testing -- its scientific validity, its effectiveness in deterring use, its availability and the significant complications associated with blood testing, among others.
The Association agrees with the Commissioner's Office that HGH use in baseball is not to be tolerated. We intend to act without delay to ascertain whether our Program can be improved as it relates to HGH. In so doing, however, we will not compromise the commitment to fairness on which our Program always has been premised.
It's easy to say that athletes should just submit to testing. But how would you fee if your employer demanded your blood to test without first having cause?
A lot of people think than a reliable HGH test, along with steroid testing, would essentially remove performance-enhancing drugs from baseball. But as Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus has pointed out, new designer drugs are invented all the time and staying ahead of the cheaters is an ongoing process.
But an HGH test would be a step in the right direction.