Major League Baseball announced a new collaboration with Latin American trainers, formally known as the Trainer Partnership Program.
The two parties will focus on eliminating the use of performance-enhancing substances by amateur players in the sport, as well as improving compliance with MLB rules.
The voluntary program will commence in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, where a combined 46 recommended trainers have agreed to enroll their respective players in MLB’s drug testing policy, among other mandated requirements.
Drug testing began this week ahead of MLB’s first showcase as part of the Trainer Partnership Program on Sept. 18-20 at Temistocles Metz Stadium in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Representatives from all 30 MLB organizations, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, are expected to attend. Only players from approved programs will be eligible to take part in the showcase.
The participating trainers have also obliged to submit themselves and their employees to background checks, in addition to keeping updated records of amateur players in their possession and cooperating with MLB rules regarding international player signings.
The latter issue was brought to light last season, when MLB dished out severe punishments to the Atlanta Braves for violating international amateur free agency rules.
Among the penalties included fines, loss of draft picks, 12 prospects departing the organization and the permanent banishment of former general manager John Coppolella.