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Atlanta Braves Players Believe Steroid Suspensions Should Be Harsher

August 6th, 2013 at 4:19 PM
By Cody Fields

Atlanta Braves players, especially Dan Uggla, believe Major League Baseball should up the ante when it comes to punishment for steroids and human growth hormone.

Though there has been tremendous progress in MLB's drug testing program, Uggla believes it should be year-round and include HGH. He also thinks MLB should slap a much heftier punishment on steroid users.

"If you give somebody one chance to mess up and he takes that chance and messes up and the next thing you know he's done from baseball, then a lot of guys are going to think twice about it," Uggla said on braves.com. "The guys that still think it's worth the risk, they'll get caught and be done. We won't have to worry about it anymore. The first offense now is obviously not enough."

As of now, current rules provide a 50-game suspension for the first offense. The second offense carries a 100-game suspension, and the third offense finally gets a player banned for life.

But Uggla thinks that ban isn't soon enough, particularly for players like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, who each have $100 million-plus waiting on them after their suspensions.

"I don't think the people that are taking a risk really care about it," Uggla said. "They're like, 'Oh, what is 50 games?' The risk-reward, the reward is way better than the penalty of the 50-game suspension."

Other than Rodriguez and his 211-game suspension, MLB also suspended Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and New York Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin. Minor Leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, Cesar Puello and Sergio Escalona were also suspended.

Brandon Beachy thinks more frequent testing would serve as a good deterrent.

"It needs to happen more often," Beachy said. "There are guys that are going to be tested just one time and it's in Spring Training and they know it. We obviously don't want to walk through the door and have our finger pricked every day. But we all want a clean game and a level playing field. Guys are willing to make some sacrifices to get there."

Regardless of the actual steps eventually taken to combat the performance-enhancing drugs issue, it seems the Braves clubhouse is solidly for greater punishments. Count Braves 101 as standing with them.

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Photo Credit: Colleen0313 via Compfight cc

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Brandon Beachy, Dan Uggla, HGH, MLB, Ryan Braun, steroid

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