Rick Porcello: MLB drug testing program has ‘failed’
There is definitely an undercurrent of dissatisfaction among some Major League players with regards to how the league’s drug program works.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello is the latest to speak against it, saying that the policy has “failed” to deter players from using performance enhancing drugs.
“I’m all in favor for (stiffer penalties),” Porcello said, via Christian Red of the New York Daily News. “Obviously what’s going on right now is not preventing guys from doing it. This year, there’s a guy that literally tested positive three times. That’s obviously not effective. I’m all in favor for a much, much more severe punishment or a lifetime ban. At the end of the day, it’s looking like that’s the only thing that’s going to keep guys from doing it. If that ever happens, we’ll find out if that’s even enough. There’s no right or wrong answer right now, but I think there at least needs to be some adjustments for sure.”
Porcello, who lost a one game playoff for a division title back in 2009 with the Tigers, is not pleased that players who have tested positive can impact games while their appeals are pending.
“I know I’m working my tail off every day to do it the right way, and I’m playing against guys that are testing positive and it’s directly impacting myself, our team, potential playoff chances and all those implications,” Porcello said. “I just don’t think that that’s right. Not a lot of guys have said stuff to me, but that was one instance where somebody came up and said, ‘I disagree with you.’ But I still stand by my comments in saying I disagree with what’s going on right now — if a guy tests positive, he should not be able to appeal and continue to play. I think that’s the worst-case scenario. There’s nothing to stand by with what (commissioner Rob Manfred) is talking about. It’s failed.”
Porcello says he understands due process, and frankly, it has to be that way. Players have had their suspensions overturned, albeit under questionable circumstances, and they have to give players that right. MLB operates under the principle of innocent until proven guilty. One of Porcello’s former teammates agrees with his opinion, but there’s not much you can do.