To play Devil’s Advocate, what happens if the appeal determines that the suspension was levied in error? As unlikely as it may be, MLB has to leave open the possibility for a false-positive test. The players are putting their trust in the league to not only conduct these PED tests fairly, but to do so without user error. If a player doesn’t believe that they knowingly took a banned substance, why shouldn’t they be allowed to appeal?
There are also cases where the player inadvertently took a banned substance that was included as an ingredient in an over the counter product, which would represent carelessness on their part rather than a malicious intent to cheat. Should the penalty be the same? Would there even be a way to prove it was unintentional? Perhaps not, but that’s part of why an appeal system exists.
If Porcello gets his way then the player would begin their suspension immediately. If an investigation confirmed the player was in fact innocent, he could be reimbursed for the paychecks he missed, but he’ll never get those games back. The player’s team is victimized just as much as a team forced to face off against a player that potentially has a banned substance coursing through their system.
Do we not live in a society that believes in innocence until proven guilty? It’s a statement we proudly make, at least until it may work against us.
Next: Fear of the penalty