Major League Baseball, now finishing off negotiations with players for a new labor agreement, is poised to become the first North American sport to test players at the highest level for human growth hormone, reports the New York Times. Testing will begin in February, and testing positive will result in similar punishments as currently given to steroids—one failed test would mean a 50-game suspension. The NFL reached a similar agreement with its players in August, but it left the details to be worked out later, and players have derailed attempts to test for HGH.
With the NFL having been through a protracted lockout over the summer and this year's NBA season on the verge of being canceled because of a standoff with its players, MLB officials are reportedly pleased to have a new agreement without any public acrimony. By the time the new labor agreement ends in 2017, the MLB minimum salary will be $500,000 per year, notes ESPN, which used to be the average salary in 1989. (Read more baseball stories.)