Feb 8, 2022 - Sports

Report: MLB halts steroid testing

Injecting something into a baseball

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

MLB has stopped testing players for steroids for the first time in nearly 20 years because the league's drug agreement expired during the lockout, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: While a new agreement should be in place by Opening Day, players could attempt to use performance-enhancing drugs during this dark period, which began on Dec. 2 when the lockout became official.

  • "You could easily do what the cyclists were doing even in a good testing program, which was microdosing of testosterone," Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told AP.
  • "You can do testosterone gels or oral pills that could be out of your system and you can do more in maybe weeks."

The backdrop: The timing is ironic, given that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied election to the Hall of Fame last month over suspicions of PED use.

The big picture: The Astros' cheating scandal, juiced baseballs and sticky stuff have created a lack of transparency and trust between MLB and its fans in recent years. Rumors of steroid use among players who get off to hot starts in 2022 are the last thing baseball needs.

Go deeper