Weiner says increased penalties are ‘2014 issue’

Baseball players’ union head Michael Weiner says toughening

penalties for drug violations will have to wait until the 2014

season.

”There are going to be talks. I don’t what the result is going

to be,” he said Sunday after meeting with the Baltimore Orioles as

part of his tour of the 30 spring training camps.

The current sanctions have been in place since the 2006 season:

50 games for a first offense, 100 for a second and a lifetime ban

for a third. Selig held a news conference Saturday and said he

wanted increased penalties as soon as possible.

”Starting this offseason, we had substantial discussion among

player leadership about whether the penalty structure we have is

right – whether there should be increases – whether there should be

a differential penalty for intentional or unintentional users,”

Weiner said.

”That dialogue is continuing. We had some dialogue even with

the commissioner’s office in the offseason that didn’t lead to any

changes, and I suspect that we’ll have those discussions over the

course of the year,” he said. ”But it’s going to be a 2014 issue.

We’re not going to change the rules of the game in the middle of

the season. In a sense, the drug-testing season started with spring

training.”