The AP publishes this lenghty article on Rep Bobby Rush's "House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection" hearings, which invited America's sports leagues chiefs.
Some members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection used Wednesday's hearing to express doubts that the leagues have done enough since a similar session before the same subcommittee in 2005. Several called for a federal law to legislate drug testing for all the major professional sports.
"Let's get it right this time. ... Let's go ahead and get something into law that is acceptable," Texas Republican Joe Barton said. "It's no fun having this hearing every two to three years."...
There were no players at Wednesday's hearing. Instead, the commissioners sat side-by-side with their sport's union chiefs: Bud Selig was inches away from Donald Fehr; Stern was next to Hunter. Then there was the NFL's Roger Goodell and Gene Upshaw, and the NHL's Gary Bettman and Paul Kelly.
The NBA's David Stern disagreed with PED testing mandates:
No, thank you, said Stern, who twice interrupted lawmakers to cite the progress made by all four leagues since the 2005 hearing through collective bargaining with their respective unions. He and the other witnesses also cautioned against a one-size-fits-all law that would apply to their very divergent sports.
"Federal legislation in this area is not necessary for the NBA," Stern said. "Nor do I believe that a uniform, federally mandated approach to drug testing for all sports leagues would be appropriate."
(more on the issues after the jump)
"In spite of the fact that they want to pronounce that they have it under control, I still think that it's not fully under control," said the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. "And we have to do more."
The committee should consider sports frauds law -- that would protect the consumer.
League testing policies:
Baseball had the most to prove, having implemented a stringent steroids policy only in the past few years. The NFL began addressing the problem some two decades ago, while the NBA and NHL say the nature of their sports is such that steroids use is virtually nonexistent.
As for HGH, the commissioners seemed inclined to wait and see if scientists can develop a way to detect it through a urine sample rather than a blood sample, as has been done at the Olympics.
Selig said he has met with Fehr and a group of players to discuss implementing the recommendations of former Sen. George Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball. Selig said he hopes the "ongoing, detailed" talks produce a more independent, transparent and flexible drug testing program.