Drug Policies of the Four Major Sport Leagues Essay

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The four major sport leagues in the United States consist of the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League (NHL). All of the leagues have some similarities in their implemented drug policies, such as the need for testing athletes. Although the policies have similarities, there are many differences within the leagues, as well. Drug testing in professional sports has increased, due to the rise of players using illegal substances and Major League Baseball currently has the best drug-testing program. Drug-testing programs have become very complex and have many unique legal aspects that these leagues must face.
Policy Similarities
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The NFL suspends its players without pay for any use of illegal substances based on the number of offenses and the suspensions are four games, eight games, and one full season suspension (Dolich, 2013). Each league has improved its policies in recent years, but the support for increased and better testing continues to grow. The MLB can require players to provide blood samples and the NFL had talks of taking blood samples during training camp in order to test for Human Growth Hormone (HGH), but the NBA and NHL have not applied these procedures in their programs (Calcaterra, 2013).
Best Drug Policy The policies and procedures for drug testing within the four major sport leagues are changing rapidly, due to the rise of players using illegal substances. Major League Baseball currently has the best drug-testing program of the major sport leagues. Many of the substances athletes are taking can only be detected through blood testing. Major League Baseball is the only league that has fully executed blood testing to detect and deter those whom are using, or wish to use, HGH and other banned substances. Not only has Major League Baseball applied blood testing at the elite level, it has also implemented it in Minor League Baseball, as well ( The league has taken a dominant stance on “stamping” out all banned substances and the penalties for an athlete testing positive are the most severe of any

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