Nationals among players in favor of harsher MLB drug penalties

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“It’s the manager’s discretion, if he thinks the player is performing, then he plays. If not, he’s on the bench, but he’s around,” Desmond explained. “Your face is in front of the camera, you have to deal with your teammates, and if you don’t play up to your potential, then if you hit free agency, people are going to see a true evaluation of you.

“I don’t think the suspension is what players are afraid of. What players are afraid of is being subpar. And I don’t think in history there’s been someone who got busted and had to immediately be in front of the camera and say, ‘Look, I did it.’ … Let them face the hard road, playing without it, or let them do the extra hard work to be at the level they want to be at. If they play well they get the contract anyway. If they don’t play well, the question is answered. Otherwise the question always goes unanswered: Is he that good?”

Weiner acknowledged that any changes to the penalties are likely a 2014 issue because of the complications that would arise in trying to alter the system midseason.

But regardless of when, or even if, changes are enacted, it’s clear that the majority of players are thinking about the issue and how they can help to make it tougher to cheat, starting with the tests.

“That’s your first line of defense,” Storen said. “It’s like if you’re getting away with murder. We all know that’s going to happen penaltywise [with a murder], but if you don’t get caught, if you think you can get around it, that’s what the issue is, right? It’s an extreme example — but at the same time it’s a parallel.”

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