A major loophole in Major League Baseball's drug testing program has closed.



MLB suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun on Monday for the remainder of the season, 65 games, based on evidence obtained from Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic. Doing so without a positive drug test shows MLB is ready to toughen its stance against players who try to cheat.



Braun also tested positive for excess testosterone in 2011, but the sample was deemed illegitimate after collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. didn't follow proper chain of custody.



People who develop performance enhancing drugs have always been a step ahead of those who create the drug tests. Barry Bonds, Rick Ankiel and others have been linked to similar clinics, and Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs. None of them have served a suspension.



But MLB has set a precedent it will punish such players. Rodriguez is reportedly the next target, but there are several players linked to Biogenesis: former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.



This action should make players more wary of seeking such a clinic. They must consider, now more than ever, whether the person they're associating with will release his or her records and how likely the clinic will be targeted by the federal government, opening its customers to investigation.



The new precedent wouldn't have been possible without the help of Michael Weiner, the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The MLBPA has agreed to not fight suspensions as long as there is strong evidence against a player and will push players to take deals similar to Braun's.



The MLBPA, which initially opposed testing on the belief it violated a player's privacy, showed a dramatic turnaround. It supported a suspension without a positive test and with a punishment that doesn't fit the number of games agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.



Players will always try to find an advantage in hope of earning contracts such as the $105 million extension Braun received two years ago. But suspending Braun shows MLB and MLBPA are moving from the sordid Steroid Era and into a cleaner future.