Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is at the center of a controversy involving the MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Hamilton who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery admitted to relapsing . Hamilton was already suspended during the 2004 season for violating the league’s drug policy. He is also subject to three drug tests a week as part of his reinstatement into the MLB.
The controversy lies in the fact that Hamilton will not be suspended again for his most recent relapse. According to sources, “Hamilton binged on cocaine” during this relapse. The MLB wanted to suspend Hamilton because of this but were told that they could not by an outside arbitrator.
The arbitrator decided that Hamilton did not violate the league’s policy on drug treatment. Fans and reporters all responded to this quickly on twitter and other social media. They called for some form of punishment.
The league and the Angles both released statements regarding the decision to not suspend Hamilton on social media as well.
The MLB needs to adjust the protocol for drug relapses for players. These players should be suspended from all baseball activity until they can prove that they are clean and finally sober. These players are role models for fans and seeing their favorite players get away with drug abuse doesn’t send the right message. For now Hamilton is clear to rejoin the Angels organization but will they keep him? They are putting a lot of money into someone that can’t stay clean and could potentially get suspended again. Only time will tell what will happen next in the Josh Hamilton story.