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Congress Looks Into Other Sports' Testing

Wednesday, April 6, 2005; Page D02

Congressmen looking into steroids in sports sent letters yesterday to the heads of the NBA, NHL and five other groups asking for information about their drug-testing policies.

The House Government Reform Committee sent a similar request to the NFL last week.

"This is the compare-and-contrast phase of the investigation," said David Marin, spokesman for committee chairman Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.).

During the panel's 11-hour hearing on steroids in baseball last month -- with Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig among the witnesses -- several lawmakers threatened federal legislation to govern drug testing in baseball and possibly all U.S. sports.

The seven letters sent yesterday were addressed to NBA Commissioner David Stern, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, ATP chief executive Mark Miles, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer Federation President Bob Contiguglia, USA Track & Field chief executive Craig Masback and USA Cycling chief executive Gerard Bisceglia.

"As the committee has stated publicly numerous times, its focus on the issue of performance-enhancing drug use in sports is not limited to professional baseball," Davis and the panel's ranking Democrat, Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), wrote in the letter.

"The hearing was the first in a series for the committee as part of its ongoing investigation into steroid policies for professional and amateur sports."

"These are probably not the last letters," said Waxman spokeswoman Karen Lightfoot, who added that the NCAA should receive a similar request soon.

-- From News Services

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