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#pounditWednesday, July 6, 2022

MLB, MLBPA to discuss testing for opioids after Tyler Skaggs’ death

Tyler Skaggs

Major League Baseball and the MLBPA will explore a reexamination of their joint drug testing policy in light of the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Both parties admitted Friday that they may look into expanding testing to cover opioids, which are not currently covered by the testing program. While MLB does not believe there is a major opioid problem within the sport, the growing usage in the general population could be reason enough to expand testing.

“For several reasons, including the tragic loss of a member of our fraternity and other developments happening in the country as a whole, it is appropriate and important to reexamine all of our drug protocols relating to education, treatment and prevention,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement Friday, via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Skaggs was found with fentanyl and oxycodone in his system when he died July 1. While both drugs are banned by the league as “drugs of abuse,” neither is explicitly tested for under the current joint policy.

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