Testing will be stricter than that in MLB

Updated: April 26, 2004, 6:38 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A baseball World Cup would have more stringent drug testing than in the majors under agreements reached Monday.

Baseball hopes to hold the event next March, playing in North America with eight to 16 national teams. The testing program would meet standards of the Olympics and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Olympics ban several substances that are not prohibited by Major League Baseball. Steroids are banned by both.

Players also will be subjected to more frequent testing during the World Cup than is allowed in the majors. An agreement between MLB, the players' union and the International Baseball Federation was needed to clear the way for the tournament.

"We are excited about the prospects of a World Cup of Baseball," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "The drug-testing agreement allows us the opportunity to stage a true World Cup that will showcase our sport to the entire world."

"I am grateful to all of those involved in shaping the agreements," he said.

MLB and the union will now begin talks with other international federations and professional leagues to decide which countries and players will compete.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press