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Congressional Hearing on Steroids in Baseball

Didn't Congress already hold hearings about steroid use in baseball?

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did call a hearing in March 2004 that questioned steroid abuse in sports. But McCain used it as an opportunity to chide baseball on the state of its drug-testing policy and warned the sport "is about to become a fraud."

McCain threatened the sport with legislative action if it did not strengthen its standards and queried, "I don't understand why you don't have a policy as strong as the NFL." Within a year, baseball had devised a new steroid policy equivalent to the NFL's.

Senate Warns Baseball on Steroids Testing (The Washington Post, March, 11, 2004)

Graphic: Baseball's New Policy Analyzed (The Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2005)

What is baseball's new steroid policy?

Major League Baseball unveiled a tougher policy in January 2005 that contained stiffer penalties and heavier fines for players caught using performance-enhancing drugs. The new policy would require that all players be tested at least once during the regular season and that players may be tested at random any time year-round. The policy, however, still falls below standards used at the minor league level and common procedures used at the Olympics.

Graphic: Baseball's New Policy Analyzed (The Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2005)

Baseball Moves to Strengthen Its Drug Policy (The Washington Post, Jan. 14, 2005)

Why does baseball have an antitrust exemption?

In 1922 the Supreme Court granted the sport an exemption from the country's antitrust laws. Justice Holmes argued that while baseball does cross state lines the game is an "exhibition" and "is not a subject of commerce."

Why doesn't Congress investigate steroid use in other sports?

Waxman said that steroid abuse is a problem in other sports and that he wants to pursue standardized drug testing across all sports. "Maybe one thing we ought to look at is one standard for all of the athletic teams, maybe the Olympic standard," Waxman said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Transcript: Excerpt from "Meet the Press" (March 13, 2005)

What else does the House Committee on Government Reform oversee?

One of the most long-reaching committees in Congress, the group is broken up into seven subcommittees and has oversight on a broad range of topics. The Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations oversees security at home and abroad. Other subcommittees have jurisdiction over the Department of Justice, oversight over the financial accountability of federal agencies, and the federal court system.

Committee on Government Reform: Official Web Site

Based on reports from the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

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