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MLB Should Also Begin Publishing Clean Drug TestsPosted Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 7:21 PM
As the longtime debate regarding performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in Major League Baseball comes to the forefront once again, so too do the questions about the Hall of Fame.
So far, the testing process seems to have had little, if any, deterrent effect on those who use within the sport.
Drugs in sports are nothing new, and will not be going anywhere in the future. As long as there is competition, there will always be players who are looking for that extra edge.
Whether they're hoping for a big pay day, trying to recover from injuries or continue their career for a few more years, there will always be players who use drugs.
This leads to a very difficult problem. How do we ever know definitively who did or did not use?
In short, you will never know for sure who didn't.
Some are able to outsmart the tests and some may simply never be tested at a time when the banned substance is in their system.
This is what creates a problem from players on the Hall of Fame ballot who have not been associated with PEDs.
Because of the gravity of the situation, writers are concerned to vote for anyone from an era out of fear that it will one day be discovered that the player used PEDs.
It's a legitimate concern. At the same time, we can't simply ignore the last 25 years of baseball or the next 25 either. There will be feats and accomplishments that put worthy players in line for what should be a no doubt Hall of Fame berth.
While there will be some players we know about for sure, for instance Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, how do we cast light on those deserving players who played by the rules and are just simply great baseball players?
Currently, we are only informed when a player has failed a drug test and lost their appeal. That tells us about the players that use.
What we need to focus on is knowing about the players who test positive.
If we found out that Jeff Bagwell tested clean 22 times in his career, do you think he would already be in the Hall of Fame?
There is no reason for there to be a shadow over the career of innocent players who are only guilty of being bulky and playing quality baseball. Not everyone who is great, is a user, and as a result, they should not all be treated as such.
Those players deserve to be vindicated publicly and recognized for their honesty.
By publishing all of the test results, it would not only punish those who are guilty, but reward those who play by the rules.
To vindicate those who are deserving is every bit as important as seeing justice served for the players who have been caught.
There is no foolproof answer nor is there a definitive way to remove all PEDs from the game.
With that said, at a certain point it is time to come to a conclusion that will allow the game to move beyond these scandals and into the future.
It's time to get back to the era when baseball was America's pastime and move on from the soap opera drama this has become.
Show us the clean tests.
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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.
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