Testing FAQ: Things to know
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark looks at the agreement and finds five important details.
1. Every player on a major-league roster can be tested next year at least once. Then a second group of 240 players can be tested again, at random.
2. The first round of testing next season doesn't necessarily have to occur during spring training. The drug-testing agreement says only that testing must take place during the 2004 season (including spring training, but not the postseason.)
3. Players who test positive for the first time won't be identified, either publicly or to other teams. If a team is interested in trading for a player who has tested positive -- but is only in the phase of the program that involves counseling and private treatment -- the only way his identity can be revealed to the other team is if he has given prior written consent.
4. Players who test positive a second time don't have to be suspended. The commissioner has the discretion to fine or suspend them, but not both. And players will be identified only if they're suspended. If they're fined, the same rules of confidentiality apply. Players who test positive a second time and get suspended will have their names revealed, along with the length of their suspensions. But that's it. No information will be revealed on what drug they tested positive for, on their treatment program or on any other aspect of their status.
5. In an attempt to make sure that players don't substitute another player's urine sample for their own, testers are actually required to measure the temperature of the urine sample within four minutes. To be regarded as a "normal" sample, the temperature has to be between 90 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
And we are not making this up.
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