The chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee has entered the fray over steroids in sports, calling for new federal testing standards and fines for leagues that fail to meet them.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.'s bill, introduced yesterday with the committee's top Democrat, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, calls for the Justice Department to establish a Federal Office of Steroids Testing Enforcement and Prevention. Under the measure, the attorney general could fine leagues $5 million for failing to meet federal standards and would make recommendations to Congress to revoke tax and other benefits to leagues that don't comply.

The legislation would apply to the major professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey leagues, but would give the attorney general the authority to broaden it to college sports as well.

Sensenbrenner said he'd hold hearings this fall.

Congress already is considering two Senate and three House bills that would standardize drug policies across sports. Those bills call for a two-year ban the first time an athlete fails a drug test and a lifetime ban for a second offense.

In Sensenbrenner's bill, the attorney general would determine penalties and the number of tests for players.

-- From News Services

Pro sports leagues could be fined under F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.'s proposed steroid testing bill.