In January 2004, Major League Baseball announced a new drug policy which included random, offseason testing and 10-day suspensions for first-time offenders, 30-days for second-time offenders, 60-days for third-time offenders, and one year for fourth-time offenders, all without pay, in an effort to curtail performance-enhancing drug use (PED) in professional baseball. This policy strengthened baseball's pre-existing ban on controlled substances , including steroids, which has been in effect since 1991.  The policy was to be reviewed in 2008, but under pressure from the . Congress , on November 15, 2005, players and owners agreed to tougher penalties; a 50-game suspension for a first offense, a 100-game suspension for a second, and a lifetime ban for a third.
"Performance-enhancing drugs" (PED's) is used as an umbrella term to refer to substances and supplements that boost athletic performance. Types of performance-enhancing drugs include anabolic steroids, androstenedione, human growth hormone, erythropoietin, diuretics, creatine and stimulants—most of which are illegal and carry serious health risks.
Erythropoietin (EPO), used to boost aerobic capacity by increasing the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream (blood-doping), was banned by the International Olympic Commission in 1985 and outlawed in 1986, but has come under fire in recent years throughout the running and cycling worlds.