Major League Baseball is poised to become the first North American sport to test players at the highest level for human growth hormone, The New York Times reports.
The bargaining agreement, which is expected to be announced early this week, calls for blood testing to begin in February, when players report to spring training. Players who test positive will face a 50-game suspension, which will be the same as the first-time penalty for a positive steroid test, according to two people briefed on the matter, according to the paper.
The NFL reached a similar deal with its players in August, but it left the details to be worked out later, and players have derailed attempts to test for HGH.
The latest labor agreement, which ends in 2017, comes after the NFL’s protracted lockout over the summer and this year’s NBA season on the verge of being canceled due to a standoff between owners and players.