09/07/2005 6:34 PM ET
Statement From MLBPA General Counsel Michael Weiner regarding suspension of Michael Morse
MLB PLayers AssociationNEW YORK -- The following statement was issued today by Major League Baseball Players Association General Counsel, Michael Weiner, regarding the suspension of Michael Morse for violating Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Today the MLB Arbitration Panel denied the grievance the MLBPA filed challenging the 10-day suspension of Michael Morse. Under the terms of the Basic Agreement, the suspension had been stayed pending the decision by the Panel. With respect, we believe this result is unfair and unfortunate. It punishes Michael Morse again for conduct for which he has already been punished. At the hearing, Morse candidly admitted he had used steroids following the 2003 season, when he was a minor league player, but also testified he had not used steroids since. Because of that use, under the minor league testing program Morse tested positive and was suspended twice during 2004. Although he tested positive again in 2005 under the Major League program, it was for the same substance and at an extremely low level, a level which would give Morse no competitive advantage, and the Panel believed that the positive test was a result of Morse's prior use. Nonetheless, the Panel concluded that the Basic Agreement required that Morse be suspended yet again. While we respect the Panel's decision as final and binding, the PA does not believe the parties ever intended for the Basic Agreement to compel such a harsh result.
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