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Transcript: Steroids in Baseball

RUSSERT: Are you satisfied with the new policy put in place by Major League Baseball?

DAVIS: Oh, not at all. I mean, we don't know what the policy is. We've asked for it two weeks ago, and we have yet to receive it. The subpoena calls for their delivery on Monday at noon, and I think we'll have more to say after we see it.

WAXMAN That's one of the subjects of the hearing. Baseball says they have a new policy. They couldn't do anything before because they had collective bargaining agreements -- that's their argument. But they say they have a new policy.

WAXMAN: Well, I've heard through the grapevine that some people think you'd have to be an idiot to ever get caught under that new policy. This business of saying they have a consent decree, and that's the reason we should understand that they didn't do anything, strikes me as ridiculous.

Steinbrenner said that he doesn't want players with long hairs and beards. And so there are no players with long hair and beards. That's not a part of the collective bargaining agreement. He just said that's a priority of the Yankees.

Why hasn't he and other owners say it's a priority not to use steroids? We can't test everybody randomly. But if you've got a suspicion that somebody's been using steroids and it is against the rules of baseball, can they sit back and say they've done nothing, they don't need to anything, they can't do anything? That seems to me absurd.

RUSSERT: Will you call Mr. Steinbrenner?

WAXMAN: I'm not interested in his policy about long hair and beards. I'm interested in knowing why they all observe that policy at the Yankees. And other owners can't use that kind of example and say, "This is it. This is not going to be permitted." And the message is clear that steroid use is not going to be accepted either by the Yankees or any other baseball.

RUSSERT: If baseball does not cooperate, might it lose its antitrust exemption?

WAXMAN: Well, I don't think we're there yet, just as we're not there (inaudible). But ultimately when you push this out, they not only enjoy antitrust exemptions, they enjoy a lot of tax exemptions in terms of depreciation of players and so on. They are advantageous to the business of baseball.

You have to remember the BALCO hearings. And the grand jury investigation talks about masking agents, ways that you can get around the traditional tests as well. That's something we need to look at: Are there a lot of ways that you can continue to use steroids and avoid testing?

RUSSERT: What authority does your committee have? Could you look into drugs in Hollywood, drugs in the music business? How widespread do you feel you can you go?

WAXMAN: Rule 10, Clause 4, C-2 gives us the ability to hold a hearing on any matter at any time. We're the major investigatory committee of Congress. We don't abuse it. We didn't issue any subpoenas for the last two years. Henry and I worked together in a bipartisan fashion to decide what we'll do.

But this is a serious problem. Kids are dying from the use of steroids. They're looking up to these major league leaders in terms of the enhancements that's they're using. And we have to stop it.

RUSSERT: What about football, basketball? Any other sports?

WAXMAN: Well, I think that it's a problem in all of these sports. And maybe one thing we ought to look at is one standard for all of the athletic teams, maybe the Olympic standard. That's one that seems to be taking hold and the message is very clear.

The standard that baseball is telling us they're going to put into place, and we don't know exactly what all of details are, but they're saying you'll be suspended for 10 days if you're using steroids. Well, is that tough enough? I don't know.

RUSSERT: Again, you're confident that several players will show up on Thursday?

WAXMAN: Of course.

RUSSERT: We'll be watching.

Chairman Tom Davis, Ranking Member Henry Waxman, thank you very much.


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