New York, NY (Sports Network) - A main hurdle in starting a World Cup in baseball has been overcome, as drug testing agreements were reached on Monday.
The accord between Major League Baseball, its players' association and the International Baseball Federation (IBF) is consistent with the drug-testing rules required by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Olympic movement.
The participating athletes in the event will be subjected to testing during the World Cup and the IBF will serve as the drug-testing agent for the competition.
With the drug-testing roadblock cleared, the goal for Major League Baseball and the MLBPA is to have a World Cup of Baseball as early as March, 2005. Now other plans associated with the event can move forward.
"We are excited about the prospects of a World Cup of Baseball," said baseball commissioner Bud Selig. "The drug-testing agreement allows us the opportunity to stage a true World Cup that will showcase our sport to the entire world. This is a great opportunity for us to grow the game and I am grateful to all of those involved in shaping the agreements."
Major League Baseball and the MLBPA will meet in the near future with several international federations and professional leagues to determine the eligibility of players and which nations will compete.
The drug testing issue has been a hot-bed of conversation this year in baseball, from the BALCO issue to Major League Baseball's testing policy itself.