Nov 27, 2019

MLB weighs new opioid testing policy for players

Tyler Skaggs died at age 27 in July from opioid-related causes. Photo: Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Major League Baseball players could be randomly tested for the first time for opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl as the sport grapples with how to address the opioid epidemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Professional athletes, who are especially prone to injury, risk greater exposure and addiction to opioids due to pain management. The discussions between the league and its players' union were prompted by the July death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who had oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system.

Go deeper: Where the major sports leagues stand on weed

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MLB to remove marijuana from list of abuse drugs, test for opioids, cocaine

Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Major League Baseball announced on Thursday plans to remove marijuana from its list of drugs of abuse, instead treating it the same as alcohol, ESPN reports.

But, but, but: The league will begin testing for opioids and cocaine, but only players who refuse to cooperate with treatment plans will be subject to disciplinary action. Testing was previously limited to performance enhancing drugs and prohibited stimulants.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

Small cities fight back against MLB proposal to cut minor league teams

Reggie Lawson of the Peoria Javelinas. Photo: Buck Davidson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Small cities around the country are fighting a Major League Baseball restructuring proposal that would cut the league's association with 42 minor league teams, AP reports.

Why it matters: The cities argue that the teams are a vital part of their communities — and some have invested significant municipal funds in stadium construction and upgrades to draw in fans.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019

Podcast: Bernie's baseball battle

Major League Baseball recently announced plans to sever its relationships to 42 minor league teams, sparking bipartisan protest from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Dan digs in with Axios Sports Editor Kendall Baker.

Go deeper: MLB's plan to overhaul its minor league system

Keep ReadingArrowDec 12, 2019