As Major League Baseball struggles to decide how to punish players who take performance-enhancing drugs, International Baseball Federation president Harvey Schiller made his opinion on the matter loud and clear as it pertains to the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
“If any player in the Classic is stupid enough to take drugs and be tested positive during this tournament, he should never be allowed on a baseball field anywhere,” Schiller said. “I don’t think I can make it any stronger than that.”
Schiller made his comments during a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday where he and Japanese baseball officials campaigned to get baseball back on the Olympic program in 2016.
“We are very, very happy with the way progress has been moving in terms of our goals to return to the program in 2016,” he said.
Including MLB players has been seen as vital to these efforts and Schiller has met with MLB commissioner Bud Selig as well as other baseball officials in an effort to resolve the problem.
“I recently met with all the owners of major league clubs in Arizona approximately two weeks ago and asked for their assistance in providing a representative group of (their) best players for the 2016 Games.”
The summer Olympics are staged during the MLB season and the league has not been open to the option of shutting down during the Olympic baseball tournament. In response, Schiller and others have proposed a revised or shortened Olympic tournament in hopes major leaguers can take part.
Also present was IOC vice president Chiharu Igaya, a former Olympic skier who has pledged his support to the cause by accepting the position of senior adviser to the All-Japan Baseball conference.
Igaya, a member of the IOC Executive Board from 1987-1991 and 1996-2000, stressed the importance of upcoming IOC meetings in June and October to getting baseball back in the games.
The general assembly meeting will be held in October in Copenhagen.
For the IBAF a positive outcome is vital for the worldwide survival of the game.
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