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Congress summons Tagliabue next in steroid probe
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Old 31 Mar 2005, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Congress summons Tagliabue next in steroid probe

Congress summons Tagliabue next in steroid probe


March 31, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports



WASHINGTON -- The same Congressional committee that conducted hearings into steroids in baseball has summoned NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to testify about how football regulates the performance-enhancing substances.


The Government Reform Committee also said it will summon representatives of the NBA, NHL, NCAA, U.S. Track and Field and Major League Soccer to discuss steroids in their sports.

"As the committee has stated publicly numerous times, its focus on the performance-enhancing drug use in sports is not limited to professional baseball," the committee said in a letter signed by committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis and ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman.

"As part of this investigation, we are requesting basic information on steroid policies from a number of sports leagues."

No dates were set as to when the hearings will take place.

The letter to the NFL comes a day after CBS' 60 Minutes Wednesday reported that Panthers punter Todd Sauerbrun and center Jeff Mitchell and former offensive lineman Todd Steussie filled testosterone cream prescriptions during the 2003 season, when the team went to the Super Bowl.

In addition to the cream, which is banned by the NFL, Sauerbrun also reportedly obtained syringes and the injectable steroid Stanozolol, which is banned by the league.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league responded immediately in a letter from Tagliabue that said he has directed his staff to be fully responsive to the committee's request.

The NFL has had random testing for steroids for the past 15 years. A total of 44 players have been suspended during that period for using the performance-enhancing substances.

The league has proposed toughening its testing standards to conform with a change in standards by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee. That change has to be approved by the NFL Players Association, whose executive director, Gene Upshaw, is a former offensive lineman who has been outspoken about the use of the substances in the sport.

The committee asked the NFL to provide details on the testing procedures and how they were negotiated between the league and the union. It also requested summaries of all test results during the time the testing has taken place, although not the names of individual players. The committee set next Friday as the deadline for the league to provide it with the information.
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Old 31 Mar 2005, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know that these congressional hearings are not much more than a grandstand, but I take pleasure in them. When baseball was getting grilled the other week, I was watching and I wanted to get me some marshmellows to roast over their heads.

Baseball and it's more high profile players have been so condecending and aloof throughout the entire process, Barry Bonds especially, that it was nice to see the smirks get wiped off their faces. Don Fehr looked like he was sweating bullets, Buddie Selig looked lost and McGwire looked like someone shot his dog.

If all of this grandstanding causes the major sports to start taking these issues seriously, then I guess it works, but in the meantime it's good to see those bitches get put in their places.

The NFL has a good policy in place and Tags may take some heat, but not nearly as much as Selig did. Some of the congressmen are just being outright ridiculous, calling for a ban on the first offense, but the NFL's policy and graded suspensions for violations are decent.

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