<
>

MLBPA ratifies tougher drug agreement, in force immediately

NEW YORK -- Baseball players approved a toughened drug agreement Friday -- the last possible day for ratification.

The sides announced the agreement April 11 and owners ratified it on May 14. The deal increases the frequency of tests and the authority of the program's independent administrator, among the recommendations made in December by baseball drug investigator George Mitchell.

The new rules -- which mark the third major overhaul since the joint drug program began in 2002 -- went into force immediately upon ratification.

As part of the deal, 15-day suspensions assessed against Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons were rescinded, and commissioner Bud Selig agreed not to discipline players implicated in December's Mitchell report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.