Markakis: MLB needs 5-year bans for PED users

Markakis: MLB needs 5-year bans for PED users
August 5, 2013, 4:45 pm

Alex Rodriguez and the other 12 players who received 50-game suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs on Monday should thank their lucky stars Nick Markakis isn't commissioner.

The Orioles outfielder anticipated today's suspensions today by suggesting that baseball stiffen its penalties for PED users. Five-year suspensions for first-time users? He's all for it. Lifetime bans for anyone caught using? He likes that, too.

“No ifs, ands or buts about it,” Markakis told The Baltimore Sun. “These guys are big boys; they can make decisions. If I go out there and rob a convenience store, I know the consequences that are coming with it. We are all adults here.”

Markakis said he has taken urine tests this season, but he has not had his blood tested. This is the first season that the league's drug policy agreement permits random blood testing.

He's so adamant about keeping PEDs out of baseball that he's wondering why he hasn't been tested yet.

“I don’t know if any of my teammates have, but I haven’t,” Markakis said. “As part of the collective bargaining agreement, [MLB has] that opportunity. And I don’t know why they haven’t or what the deal is with it. But I think they need to take a better look into it and start going forward with what they say they are going to do. Saying something is one thing, but doing it is another. … I’d give blood every day if I had to. The overall deal is that this is bad for the game.”
 
The problem is simple, Markakis said.
 
“These guys that are doing performance-enhancing drugs are taking away from a lot of other people that are doing it the right way. They are taking opportunities away and they are basically stealing,” Markakis said. “Stealing money away from owners because they are basically purchasing damaged products. It’s not a good situation all the way around. And all of us that have done it the right way, we are going to suffer and have to answer questions about this for a while now. I think that puts us in bad situations that we don’t deserve to be in.”