In 2010, MLB established testing for HGH in the minor leagues, as part of a program to rid baseball of performance enhancing drugs:
The blood testing becomes part of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, which commissioner Bud Selig introduced in 2001 to test for performance-enhancing drugs.
"The implementation of blood testing in the minor leagues represents a significant step in the detection of the illegal use of human growth hormone," Selig said in a statement. "HGH testing provides an example for all of our drug policies in the future."
On Thursday, the first suspension of a player for testing positive for HGH under this program was announced, and it's of a fairly high-profile minor leaguer, former major league first baseman Mike Jacobs:
Former Mets first baseman Mike Jacobs has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for human growth hormone, Major League Baseball announced.
Jacobs hit 69 home runs as the regular first baseman for the Marlins from 2006-2008; he also had a year with the Royals in 2009 and last played in the major leagues for the Mets in 2010 and was hitting .298/.376/.534 this year with 23 home runs and 97 RBI for Triple-A Colorado Springs, the affiliate of the Rockies in the Pacific Coast League.
After the suspension, the Rockies released Jacobs. According to Denver Post Rockies beat writer Troy Renck, Jacobs apologized and says he wants to play again next year after the suspension is over.