Veteran MLB Umpire Brian Runge Fired for Failing Drug Test
It’s not just Major League Baseball players who have trouble following the league’s drug policy.
Brian Runge, 43, who’s been an umpire in the big leagues since 1999, has been fired for violating MLB’s drug policy. He’s believed to be the first umpire to lose his job after failing a drug test.
Runge had not worked a game in the majors this season, having instead worked at the Triple-A level.
The Associated Press reports “Runge failed at least one drug test, then reached an agreement so he could remain on the umpire roster. When he failed to comply with those terms, he was released.”
It’s unclear what drug was found in his system.
Runge is part of MLB’s first three-generation umpiring family, dating back to his grandfather, who began calling balls and strikes in 1954. His father was also an umpire from 1973-97.
Brian hasn’t called a major league game since August 30 of last season, due to a knee injury, but his final season was memorable. He worked the plate for Philip Humber’s perfect game, as well as Seattle’s six-pitcher no-hitter. In addition, Runge held down third base duties during Matt Cain’s perfect game.