Major League Baseball announced sweeping changes to its policy on performance-enhancing drugs on Friday night, expanding their system of punishment for offenders.
The penalty for a first testing violation will now increase from 50 to 80 games. A second violation will go from 100 games to a season-long 162. A third violation will still be a lifetime ban.
Perhaps most significant is the new policy preventing offenders from participating in the postseason. Under the old rules a player could return once his team started their playoff series. That is no more.
Last season both Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz returned to their teams in the playoffs after sitting out much of the regular season while suspended. That loophole was a big focus in what amounts to the most significant change in MLB's policy on PEDs in eight years.
Though PED suspensions are relatively rare, new union head Tony Clark hopes the new policy will help clean up the game even more.
"Our hope here is that the adjustments that we've made do inevitably get that number to zero. In the event that that doesn't happen, for whatever reason, we'll reevaluate and move forward from there. But as I sit here, I am hopeful that players make the right decisions that are best for them, for their careers and for the integrity of the game."