[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:001U4334_Jos%C3%A9_Bautista.jpg”]
Jose Bautista recently told a publication in the Dominican Republic (via the Toronto Star) that he has been subjected to “random” drug tests 16 times in the last two seasons.According to Major League Baseball’s “Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” every player is subjected to at least one random test during spring training and one other random test during the year. In addition, Major League Baseball is permitted to administer 1,200 additional random tests during the year to the approximately 1,000 players. That averages to 3.2 tests per year for each player.
So, either Bautista is just unlucky, or his tests are not that random.
According to the testing rules, the league is also allowed to administer tests based on “reasonable cause.” In Bautista’s case, the 97 home runs he hit in 2010 and 2011 combined might be enough for the league to target the Blue Jays slugger. Prior to 2010, Bautista had never hit more than 16 home runs in a season.
And if Major League Baseball is targeting Bautista, it just goes to show how paranoid the league has become in the wake of the steroid era. However, it is also a good indication that the game is closer to finally ridding itself of Performance Enhancing Drugs.