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MBL to Start Mandatory Steroid Testing

November 13, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ More than 5 percent of major league players tested positive for steroids this year, triggering automatic testing starting next season.

Under the labor contract players and owners agreed to last year, all players were tested this year as part of a survey, with the samples not identified by player. The agreement called for mandatory testing to begin the year after any season in which more than 5 percent tested positive.

The commissioner’s office announced Thursday that the threshold has been exceeded, but the exact percentage was not released.

Starting next March, tests will be given and samples will be identified by player.

A first positive test for steroid use would result in treatment and a second in a 15-day suspension or fine of up to $10,000.

The length of suspensions would increase to 25 days for a third positive test, 50 days for a fourth and one year for a fifth. The suspensions would be without pay.

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