NEW YORK -- In the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that led to 14 suspensions last summer, Major League Baseball and its
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NEW YORK -- In the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that led to 14 suspensions last summer, Major League Baseball and its
NEW YORK -- In the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that led to 14 suspensions last summer, Major League Baseball and its players union announced Friday they are toughening penalties and increasing the frequency of testing in the most substantial revisions to their drug agreement in eight years. Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Authentic . Players suspended during the season for a performance-enhancing drug violation will not be eligible for that years post-season. In addition, discipline will increase from 50 games to 80 for a first testing violation and from 100 games to a season-long 162 for a second. A third violation remains a lifetime ban. While there were two-to-four major league suspensions annually from 2008-11, the number increased to12 in 2012 and 14 players were penalized following last years investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. Among them were former NL MVP Ryan Braun, who agreed to a 65-game ban, and three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire 2014 season. "Obviously, that showed that there was a need for harsher and stiffer penalties -- and this is a very clear and resounding answer for all of that," Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz returned from their 50-game suspensions in time to participate in last falls playoffs. Peralta became a free agent and was given a $53 million, four-year contract by St. Louis during the off-season. "In the past it hasnt been fair that guys, they get popped, they serve their suspension and they come back and play in the playoffs," said Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle, whose team lost to Peralta and the Tigers in the division series. "Then on top of that, guys parlay it into a bigger contract and getting a raise ... it was frustrating, mainly because he did so well against us." Accused of being slow to react to steroids in the 1990s, baseball started testing with penalties in 2004, established a 10-day suspension for an initial testing violation in 2005 and increased discipline to 50 games in 2006. In the last year or two, many players spoke out and said the deterrent wasnt sufficient. "There are 32 states that have the death penalty for murder, and murders happen in those states every single day. Its not going to stop people from committing the crime, even if you have a death penalty," Arizona pitcher Brad Ziegler said. "Youve got to put things in place better to get them caught. Thats the thing. People do it when they think they can get away with it." New union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star himself, said his members wanted to make sure "a player is not coming back and affecting a change in the post-season as a result of the decision that particular player made earlier in the year." "Our hope here is that the adjustments that weve made do inevitably get that number to zero," Clark said. "In the event that that doesnt happen, for whatever reason, well reevaluate and move forward from there. But as I sit here, I am hopeful that players make the right decisions that are best for them, for their careers and for the integrity of the game." Players who serve a PED suspension also will not be eligible for automatic post-season players pool money shares but may be given cash awards at the discretion of their teammates. "There are a lot of guys who havent done it right," San Francisco pitcher Tim Hudson said, "and I think the one thing that puts a bad taste in peoples mouth that are playing are the guys who have messed around with the stuff but then somehow have still benefited contractually and gotten paid more money than they might have done if they had been clean. Those are the things that kind of stick some players." A player serving a season-long suspension will lose all his pay. Under the previous rules, Rodriguez gets 21-183rds of his $25 million salary this year, or $2,868,852. "Although we had the strongest program in professional sports before these changes, I am committed to constantly finding ways to improve the program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game," said baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who had called a year ago for harsher penalties. An arbitrator would be allowed to reduce a suspension for a first or second testing violation by up to 50 per cent if a player proves by "clear and convincing evidence" that a positive test was not caused by his "significant fault or negligence." However, penalties may not be cut for muscle-building substances such as testosterone, human growth hormone, Boldenone, Nandrolone and Stanozolol. In-season random urine tests will increase from 1,400 to 3,200 overall in addition to the minimum two for each player, and off-season tests will rise from 250 to 350. There will be 400 random blood collections used to detect human growth hormone in addition to the mandatory one for each player during spring training. "We want to have a level playing field," Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. Players with PED violations, other than those who penalties are reduced for mitigation, will receive six additional random urine tests and three more blood tests annually for the rest of their careers. Foreign players entering the major leagues and those not subject to the major- or minor-league testing program for at least a year will be required to take urine and blood tests before signing contracts. "There are certain considerations we need to make in an effort to put guys in a position where the guys who are doing it correctly arent being adversely affected any more than necessary," Clark said. AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and AP freelance writer Mike Cranston contributed to this report Youth Quentin Poling Jersey . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. Youth Durham Smythe Jersey . The light-heavyweight champion and number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world is on an 11-fight UFC winning streak, the longest in the history of the weight class. http://www.wholesaledolphinsjerseys.com/ . Top-seeded Djokovic swept to a 6-1, 6-3 win over 51st-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in just 57 minutes, but fourth-seeded Federer had to see off a serious challenge from 48th-ranked Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic before coming through 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3.PORTLAND, Ore. - On a night that could have gone terribly wrong for the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard made everything right in the end.Lillard scored 39 points and made the go-ahead basket with 36 seconds remaining as Portland rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 98-94 Monday night.In the first quarter, Blazers starting guard Wesley Matthews collapsed to the floor and grabbed his left knee while driving to the basket. Matthews was helped to the locker room, then returned to the bench and eventually the game during the second quarter.Matthews, averaging 16.9 points per game, said he had a hyperextended left knee but didnt think it was serious. He played 30 minutes and scored five points.I told him he scared me, because he did, Portland coach Terry Stotts said. I was shocked to see him come back. Im no doctor, but it didnt look good.Lillard hit four 3-pointers, and scored 16 points during the fourth quarter to lead the Blazers (27-8). He has scored at least 39 points in three of his past nine games.LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points, and reserve centre Meyers Leonard had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Portland.The Lakers (11-24) were without Kobe Bryant, the teams leading scorer at 23.6 points per game. Bryant stayed home for a scheduled day of rest. It was the fourth game Bryant has skipped after sustaining two leg injuries the past two seasons.Jordan Hill led Los Angeles with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Five Lakers scored in double figures, including Jeremy Lin with 14 points.Lillard has had several big scoring performances of late, often with Portland trailing late in the game and the Blazers needing a boost. Such was the case Monday, with the Lakers leading for most of the second half, and 83-76 with 5:55 remaining.Lillard hit back-to-back 3s during a 12-2 run that gave the Blazers an 88-85 lead. During the final 36 seconds, he made the go-ahead basket and three free throws to help Portland secure the win.I dont live for it, but I would like us to play with the type of urgency we did for the last 8 minutes for the entire game. But when its needed, Im definitely not going to shy away from it, Lillard said.Lillard scored 24 points in the second half and several times hit tough, contested shots.He got hot, definitely, and we didnt do a good enough job of disrupting him. Ive got to do a better job of making his life more difficult, Lin said.The Lakers briefly took a 92-91 lead with 43 seconds remaaining on two free throws by Lin. Cheap Stitched Dolphins Jerseys. . But then Lillard immediately went to work, driving to the basket for the go-ahead layup 7 seconds later.Los Angeles took control early in the third quarter, running off 10 consecutive points to take a 61-54 lead. The Lakers led by as many as 10 before Lillard helped the Blazers cut the deficit to 73-70 heading into the fourth.Neither team was able to shake loose in the first half. The Blazers led by as many as seven, but the Lakers closed the second quarter on a 9-4 run to cut the halftime deficit to 47-45.The first-half highlight came when Nick Young chased down a ball in the backcourt, stepped over midcourt and hit a 40-foot 3-pointer to beat the 24-second shot clock.___TIP-INSLakers: Los Angeles forward Wesley Johnson, who injured his hip Sunday against Indiana, could be back as early as next week, coach Byron Scott said. ... Lakers forward Ryan Kelly, who had played just 46 minutes in the first 44 games, made his first start of the season. ... G Ronnie Price took an elbow to his nose during the third quarter and did not return. Scott said Price, who needed 11 stitches, could play Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but might have to wear a mask.Trail Blazers: Stotts was selected Western Conference coach of the month for December. Portland went 13-3 in December, tying a franchise record for wins in one month. ... C Chris Kaman made his first start of the season. Robin Lopez (broken right hand) and Joel Freeland (right shoulder) are out for an extended period.LEONARDS BIG NIGHTLeonard had his first double-double of the season. The most surprising element of his game came on the perimeter, where he went 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Leonard helped Portland get going in the fourth quarter with a four-point play when he was fouled while hitting a 3-pointer that cut the Lakers lead to 76-74.He played like we needed him to. He was making shots, shooting confident and grabbing rebounds. It was an all-around good performance, Matthews said.LILLARD LIKES LAKERSLillards 39 points was a career best for a home game, breaking his previous high of 38, also against the Lakers. It was the second-highest scoring performance by a Blazers player against Los Angeles; the record is 43 points by Clyde Drexler in 1989. In eight career games against the Lakers, Lillard is averaging 26.3 points.UP NEXTLakers: Wednesday at Los Angeles Clippers.Trail Blazers: Thursday at home against Orlando. 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