Friday, March 12, 2010

Crackdowns on Baseball Players from the Dominican Republic

Baseball is the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic. And over the years the country has contributed many players to American MLB, including many big name stars. However, recently there has been much concern over the few regulations in the Dominican Republic. There are many bad practices, for example, performance enhancing drugs, age and identity fraud, and rogue sports agents.
The Dominican Republic produced 10 percent of major league players last year. Some people think there needs to be more regulations. Commissioner Bud Selig hired former MLB vice president Sandy Alderson to confront some of these issues. Recently, it was disclosed that the Dominican Summer League had the highest rate of positive drug tests in all baseball. Also teams have given expensive contracts to players who lie about their ages. Alderson is restructuring the MLB office in Santo Domingo, the capital. He says that some people are embarrassed about the state of the irregularities from the Dominican Republic, but they are not sure about how to deter ill practices.
The baseball league is trying to figure out how to verify players' ages and identities without drawing criticism. The MLB has no legal standing in the country, so members cannot enforce any regulations. They can only hope for cooperation. Hopefully Anderson can effect some changes and take any suspicion away from the Dominican Republic. He is trying to keep baseball in a good light; it is America's pastime (and the Dominican Republic's).


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