The ongoing MLB lockout that began in the early morning hours of Dec. 2 has no real end in sight and has claimed a victim other than the start of spring training or regular-season games.
According to The Associated Press (h / t ESPN), sources say MLB has stopped testing players for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs because the sport’s Joint Drug Program expired at “11:59 pm ET on Dec. 1, 2021.”
Neither MLB nor the MLB Players Association commented on the story.
United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive officer Travis Tygart expressed concern to The AP that players could use this opportunity to potentially temporarily use PEDs until the owners and union come to terms on a deal that ends the work stoppage and resumes the drug-testing program .
“You could easily do what the cyclists were doing even in a good testing program, which was microdosing of testosterone,” Tygart explained. “You can do testosterone gels or oral pills that could be out of your system and you can do more in maybe weeks.”
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are among legendary players repeatedly snubbed by Hall of Fame voters due to their alleged links to PEDs during their careers. The first MLB / MLBPA joint drug agreement was reached in late 2002.
This past Friday, the union rejected MLB’s offer for a federal mediator to get involved to help end the lockout, and MLB later responded that “immediate assistance” was needed to help bring the sides closer together. US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has since offered to help, but the MLBPA must agree for a third party to get involved.
Spring training workouts are set to begin Feb. 16, but there is currently no indication camps will open at any point this month.