Last year, more than 15 percent of Major League Baseball players received therapeutic-use exemptions, allowing them to take physician-approved substances otherwise banned under baseball's drug policy. Adrian Gonzalez, the five-time All-Star heading into his fifth year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, just wants to know why.
"I feel like TUEs should be (a matter of) public record," Gonzalez told ESPN's Buster Olney on Wednesday. "Not because they shouldn't be allowed, but because we should all know the reasons why (players) are taking what they're taking - and are allowed to take."
Amid uncertainty as to how much these physician-approved drugs enhance performance, Gonzalez intimated that increased transparency around TUEs could help ensure no players abuse the system.
"The whole system is in place to make it an even playing field," said Gonzalez. "I know I don't have a TUE. I would want to know who has one, for what reasons, and if those reasons are justified."
Gonzalez, who made his MLB debut in 2004, is the first player to publicly champion greater accountability, but suspicion has been percolating throughout the league for some time, especially towards players who land TUEs for attention deficit disorder. In 2015, all but two of the 113 exemptions were related to treatment for ADD, and the diagnosis has been known to raise some eyebrows.
"It's just another way to get greenies," said one longtime position player. "Players know how to answer the questions in order to get that TUE."