Local reaction to Major League drug testing - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Local reaction to Major League drug testing

December 8, 2004

President Bush wants Major League Baseball to crack down on steroid use. Right now, the players are up to bat finally agreeing to work with owners on tougher drug testing.

So how do former professional players feel about drugs beefing up performance on the field?

It's a dream for some to be in the major leagues, but Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden has been there and done that. He says professional baseball has struck out, adding, "The game has changed so much, I don't even watch it."

He does remember it. He points at a magazine now yellowed with age and says, "My best game was in Veterans Stadium. I drove in five runs, three run homer, two triples and a double." A performance that wasn't enhanced by steroids. Both Breeden and former Minor League player Eddie Dixon think drug testing should get tougher.

Dixon says, "It's gotten real big and ugly now and hopefully they will nip it in the bud and put tougher restrictions on them."

Dixon is the Director of the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department. He also coaches a young travel team. He encourages a drug free game. Dixon explains, "What I inspire in my guys is work hard, a good work ethic will get you where you want to be."

When you get in the big leagues, you get the big bucks, which sometimes adds on temptations. Dixon adds, "It's unfortunate for the game, it shows lack of respect for the game."

And a lack of respect for their bodies and the fans.

The Major League Players Union has long opposed serious drug testing, but now leaders are working on a tougher drug testing plan.

They are negotiating the frequency of testing, penalties and which substances they'll be tested for.

posted at 5:45PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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