In January 2004, Major League Baseball announced a new drug policy which originally 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.
The other players involved all agreed to deals that included a waiver of the right to appeal.  Cruz blamed a gastrointestinal infection for his drug use and remarked that faced with the weight loss from the infection he was unsure he would be physically able to play and "made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error."  An emotional Cabrera said he had taken a banned substance for four days in 2012 to aid in injury recovering before stopping because "I realized it wasn't necessary. My heart and my conscience was killing me."  Peralta remarked "I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension."