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Manfred: Science might be behind increase in drug positives

Rob Manfred

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred speaks during a news conference at a meeting of MLB owners, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Coral Gables, Fla. Owners held their last meeting before the likely start of collective bargaining, where revenue sharing, the luxury tax, and the international amateur draft are among the topics management may push for change. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


NEW YORK (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says improved science could be a reason behind the increase in positive drug tests.

There have been eight suspensions this year under the big league program caused by positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs, one more than in all of 2015. There were just two in 2014 and none in 2013.

Speaking Thursday after a quarterly owners’ meeting, Manfred says “the windows of detection on certain substances have been lengthened. ... It’s just science getting better. That may be one explanation for what we’re seeing.”

Manfred also says speculation that certain players may be using PEDs is “just distasteful,” unless they have violated the drug program.

On the issue of diversity among managers, he calls this a “difficult” matter. Following Fredi Gonzalez’s firing by Atlanta this week, Washington’s Dusty Baker and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts are the only minority managers.