The news that Pirates center fielder Starling Marte had tested positive for a PED and would serve an 80-game suspension resulted in many reactions in and around baseball Tuesday. And the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo was among those taking a strong stand.
Rizzo, who has faced Marte plenty in recent seasons in NL Central play, is among the players who would love to clean up the game — even if it means increased drug testing.
“Me, personally, I haven’t been tested since the season started,” Rizzo told reporters, via CSN Chicago. “It’s been a solid two months now. It’s a random drug test and I’ll probably be drug-tested a week from now, because I’m saying this. But for me, it’s 15 minutes. We should be getting drug tested a lot more.”
Although Marte’s ban comes without pay, he signed a six-year, $31 million contract (that could be worth $53 million if two team options are exercised) three years ago — so he’ll still reap plenty of benefits from that deal. And that’s a detail not lost on Rizzo:
“Is it a big risk if you’re suspended 80 games and you got a guaranteed contract?” Rizzo told CSN Chicago. “Do you take that risk to get the reward? That’s the question you ask. For some guys, it is a big risk, for others, you get away with it, you get the big deal. But it’s part of the game. And my opinion is we need to drug test a lot more.”
Count Rizzo among the players eager to close the loopholes that might exist in the drug-testing program. But it will be up to the players union and the owners to collectively bargain an even tougher drug-testing policy.