Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama took a huge swipe at anti-steroid activists today, perhaps tossing out some baby with the John McCain bathwater. From the WaPo:
"Kids are watching sports. They're modeling themselves on athletes," Obama said. "It's a serious problem, but it's one that you want to see the leagues themselves handle in a more appropriate way. We've got nuclear weapons and a financial meltdown to worry about. We shouldn't be worrying about steroids as much as I think sometimes we do."
However the candidate apparently wants government time spent on the NCAA D-1 football playoffs:
Although he says government should be more hands-off on steroids, Obama did suggest other sports areas in which his administration might meddle.
"I would have my attorney general investigate the possibility of instituting a college football playoff system through executive order. I'm tired of this nonsense at the end of every college football season," Obama said.
There is a fine use of government time. Where do these candidates come up with their ideas (that had to be said tongue in cheek)? Or perhaps this is all about taking a swipe at opponent Republican John McCain.
Let's remind the candidate about steroids and doping involved in the Mitchell Report, the Roger Clemens case, the San Diego Tribune NFL steroid scandal sheet, the on-going saga of Lance Armstrong, and the Olympic scandals. Let's remind the candidate that often not much happens to combat doping and steroid use in the professional leagues (NFL, MLB) until the Congress becomes interested. Let's remind the candidate that the US derives so much from Olympic involvement (generally the most benefit from the Olympics goes to NBC TV or whomever is broadcasting the event) that the country needs to get with the program in meeting IOC and WADA anti-doping standards. Baseball will likely be eliminated because the leagues cannot meet WADA doping standards.
In most progressive European countries there are national anti-doping ministers at a governmental level. Not the United State. Most European countries also have passed sports fraud laws. We sure don't hope that under an Obama administration doping and steroid awareness returns to the good old days of benign neglect or active ignorance.
Appearing on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" program, Obama did not mention the Arizonan by name. But the Democratic presidential nominee did make clear that he would steer a different course than McCain has in the past when he was asked "how much government should be involved with sports and performance-enhancing drugs."
"I gotta admit that seeing a lot of congressional hearings around steroid use is not probably the best use of congressional time," Obama said.
McCain has long been closely identified with efforts on the Hill to expose steroid use in baseball. In 2004, when McCain was chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, his panel held a high-profile hearing on the subject, and McCain's scrutiny helped force Major League Baseball owners to implement a new drug-testing policy. McCain said the following year that the league "can't be trusted" to handle the issue on its own, and threatened to write legislation cracking down on performance-enhancing drugs. A House committee also held highly publicized hearings on steroids in baseball in 2007.
It does sound like Obama agrees with the opinion that Congressional time is better spent on 700 Billion dollar bailouts, which occur every day. In fact that sounds like the more potent steroids are getting injected right into Wall Street corporate America.
Wish Senator Obama would read here about why Congress should be involved in steroid and doping issues.