Major League Baseball hasn't been able to figure out a way to get it's players into the Olympics. Or, now that we have a little more insight into the results of last season's steroid tests, they maybe they don't really want to. Could it be that MLB is afraid to subject its players to the more stringent tests that are required by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency? Dick Pound, the Canadian lawyer who runs the anti-doping agency, is appalled at the penalties that MLB players can face if they test positive.
"I think it's an insult to the fight against doping in sport, an insult to the intelligence of the American public and an insult to the game itself," Pound told The Associated Press.
"I think it's a complete and utter joke. You can test positive for steroids five times, then they think of booting you out for a year? Give me a break. The first time someone has knowingly cheated and they give you counseling? It's a complete and utter joke."
It's certainly a more lenient policy than most Olympic sports. Under that code, athletes face a two-year ban for the first positive steroid test, and a lifetime ban for the second. Of course, most Olympic sports don't have to collectively bargain their drug testing policies.
UPDATE: Having just posted this, I ran across this little tidbit buried in Jayson Stark's column:
One final Olympics note: Not much has been -- or ever will be -- said about it. But sources say that several minor-league players being considered for the team the U.S. sent to Panama were disqualified for failing to pass the we-ban-everything Olympic drug test.