Title: Government and the pursuit of rigorous drug testing in Major League Baseball: a study in political negotiation and reciprocity

Authors: Bryan E. Denham

Addresses: Department of Communication Studies, Clemson University, 412 Strode Tower, Clemson SC 29634, USA

Abstract: Since June 2002, the point at which Sports Illustrated published a cover story about widespread steroid use in Major League Baseball, US legislators and baseball officials have sparred over the use of performance-enhancing drugs. This paper examines political negotiations that took place in 2005, focusing on how the threat of legislative acts, such as the Drug Free Sports Act (H.R.1862), the Professional Sports Integrity Act (H.R.2516), the Clean Sports Act (S.1114, H.R.2565) and the Professional Sports Integrity and Accountability Act (S.1334), may have led Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to ratify a more rigorous drug-testing policy than both would have preferred. The article suggests that while professional baseball players may need to be more careful under the new joint drug agreement, reached in December 2005, more expensive substances, such as human growth hormone, will continue to be used.

Keywords: anabolic steroids; collective bargaining; drugs in sport; government intervention; Major League Baseball; sports policy formation; drug testing; political negotiation; reciprocity; performance enhancing drugs; professional baseball; human growth hormone.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2007.013712

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2007 Vol.2 No.4, pp.379 - 395

Published online: 22 May 2007 *

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