MLB has taken a harsh stance towards those who violate the league’s drug policy and seems insistent on moving past the “steroid era” of the game. Not only has the league instituted a strong drug testing program, but it is also working hard to enforce penalties. MLB went to great lengths to pursue the Biogenesis scandal — striking a deal with Tony Bosch and paying for evidence — and they suspended former NL MVP Ryan Braun for 65 games this season. All the players connected to the Biogenesis records are facing suspensions from the league.
After baseball was a haven for steroid users for nearly two decades — keep in mind that both players and owners benefited from having steroids in the game — they’re finally cleaning things up. Broadcaster Bob Costas believes that is because commissioner Bud Selig is determined to change his legacy regarding steroids.
“It’s very obvious that baseball is serious about this,” Costas stated in an interview with Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander on NBC Sports Radio. “They weren’t serious for much too long, and Bud Selig does not want it to be part of his legacy — although it will be inevitably because he looked the other way in the 1990s — he wants to repair that legacy as much as he can. He wants to leave office being able to say truthfully that baseball had the toughest and most effective anti-drug program of any of the four major North American sports.”
Costas noted that MLB has undergone a total culture change regarding steroids. Not only is the commissioner’s office tougher, but the player’s association is no longer in denial about the steroids problem in the game, and they’re no longer blocking the league from testing or penalizing players. Costas believes that MLB was determined to penalize Braun because of how everything unfolded with the outfielder’s appeal of his positive drug test. He specifically said MLB was “infuriated” by what happened.