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Congress, NFL to Discuss Steroids at Hearing

"There's a couple of other things we're looking at," Upshaw said. "One of them is how many times you'll be tested in the offseason. We're also going to add more things to the list [of banned substances].

"As these things come up, we're trying to stay ahead of it."

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Many current and former NFL players have said in recent interviews that they don't believe the league has a widespread steroids problem. But Upshaw and Tagliabue have said that, while they believe the policy is strong, they know it isn't perfect. League officials say they would like to be able to test players for human growth hormone, but no reliable test exists.

Upshaw said the league and the union are "very concerned" about human growth hormone, and representatives of both sides are scheduled to be briefed on the subject today by Peter Hutt, a former chief counsel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hutt confirmed the meeting but declined further comment yesterday.

Upshaw and Henderson decided last week to keep ephedra on the league's list of prohibited substances under the steroids policy after a federal judge in Utah lifted the FDA's ban on the herbal stimulant.

After meeting with Davis and Waxman, baseball executives made no commitment but are eager to work with the committee. The meeting was held in a House office building Thursday and the tone was agreeable, according to the source, who refused to be named.

The mission and powers for an independent investigator, if the league decides to go that route, have not been determined, according to the source. Lawmakers indicated they wanted the investigator to work with no restrictions and to have a comprehensive mandate, the source said.

Baseball officials hope that such an appointment could lead the committee to suspend its investigation of the league, although no specific agreement was discussed, according to the source. The league now can come back to Congress with a more specific proposal, the source said.

Staff writer Mike Allen contributed to this report.


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