MLB Drug Testing More Frequently Leading To PED Suspensions
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this season, some players raised questions about the effectiveness of Major League Baseball’s drug testing system following the suspension of former MLB catcher Taylor Teagarden, whose performance-enhancing drug use went undetected through the system.

Teagarden was suspended after a video surfaced of him admitting to using PEDs. Detroit Tigers’ right-hander Justin Verlander has been outspoken on the matter, and Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw recently voiced his support for improved testing it it meant catching more PED users.

However, the skepticism about the reliability of the drug testing protocol has since changed as there have been eight players, including Teagarden, who have been punished for PED use this year alone.

That’s already one more than last year, and six more than the number of players who were suspended in 2014. A recent Outside The Lines report indicated more suspensions are expected this season.

The recent spike of PED suspensions is linked to an increase of testing around the league since the Biogenesis scandal, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN:

MLB officials say there are several explanations for the recent wave of positive tests — including better testing technology and a spike in the use of Turinabol — but one reason is an increase in the frequency of testing. That increased frequency is a direct result of the 2013 Biogenesis investigation that led to the suspensions of Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and others.

On top of the increase with testing in response to the Biogensis case, more frequent testing is expected to be included after the current labor agreement expires after this season:

The frequency of those offseason tests is likely to once again increase substantially in the next labor deal, which would take effect after this season.

Before the 2016 season began, Cleveland Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte and New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia were each suspended for PED use. Mejia’s was a third positive test, which equated to a lifetime ban from MLB.

Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon and Dodgers reliever Josh Ravin were suspended within one week of each other. Ravin has yet to play any baseball this year after sustaining a fractured left forearm in a March auto accident.