Monday, February 9, 2009

Answering the "How'd this happen?" question

Leave it to uber-steroids hunter Mark Fainaru-Wada to provide us with the answers (emphasis mine):

It begins in August 2002, when the owners and the union agreed to a year of "survey" testing, in which players were checked for steroids but not identified if they showed positive.

That testing was supposed to be anonymous, used solely for the purpose of gauging whether to implement more serious testing in the years ahead. However, to confirm that each player was checked, records were kept with names assigned to a corresponding number. Those records and results were maintained by separate organizations hired by MLB.

In mid-November 2003, two months after federal agents raided BALCO, baseball announced that between 5 and 7 percent of tests were positive. That's despite the fact that players effectively knew exactly when they would be tested. The percentage met a threshold that kicked in punitive testing for the coming years.

As part of baseball's agreement with the two entities that implemented its program -- Comprehensive Drug Testing (CDT) of Long Beach, Calif., and Quest Laboratories of Teterboro, N.J. -- the samples and results from the survey testing were supposed to be destroyed soon after the information was confirmed.

But, for some reason, neither the owners nor the union filed the necessary paperwork ordering CDT and Quest to destroy all the records and samples.

It indicates how little concern anybody had for the outside investigation initially," said one lawyer who was involved in the case. "If anybody would have had a brain, they would have realized if we don't destroy this info, it's going to get subpoenaed."

It's just perposterous that this was allowed to get this far.

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