Major League Baseball’s new steroids testing policy was greeted with skepticism and doubt by experts in the doping world, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. After a year and a half of revelations stemming largely from the BALCO steroids scandal — including stories detailing Giants star Barry Bonds’ alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs — owners and players announced they had torn up their old plan. The new policy, which calls for a 10-day suspension for a first-time offender and a one-year ban for a fourth-time offender, was criticized nearly as much as the game’s widely ridiculed initial attempt at steroids testing. “I’m disappointed,” said Steven Ungerleider, who has worked with the World Anti-Doping Agency. “I think there’s a bit of a charade going on.”
Experts criticized baseball on several points, mainly that the punishments are too weak and baseball will be policing itself. Charles Yesalis, a longtime doping expert at Penn State University, questioned whether baseball can be counted on to truly enforce the policy. “They can cover up anything they want,” he said. Also, amphetamines are not on the list of banned drugs. The drugs are believed to be widely used in baseball; one expert said they were not addressed because the medical data remained unclear on whether they were truly performance-enhancing.