Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said Monday that baseball is free of drugs, then quickly hedged on that contention.
“Drugs are over in baseball,” Ueberroth said before the start of the season opener between the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians. “It’s flat over. It’s done . . . because the players want it done.”
But as his brief news conference continued, the commissioner backed off a little.
“We’re going to have a season that’s virtually drug-free,” Ueberroth said a short time later. “We’ll be the first sport that can say that.”
Still later, he said: “Maybe there will be a little incident one place or another . . . but I don’t think there’ll even be that.
“I’ve been in touch with people on all sides, including the (major league players’) union. Everyone is in agreement that we’ve got to get rid of the problem. When you have that much intent and effort, the momentum is there.”
While noting that some players already have drug-testing clauses in their contracts, Ueberroth predicted that baseball will reach agreement with the Major League Players’ Assn. on the issue.
“The players want to get on with the game, and get that subject (drugs) behind them,” he said. “They are well ahead of the commissioner and their own union, and well ahead of the media.”