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Steroid Testimony: Questioning by Congressman Edolphus Towns

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Mr. TOWNS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. You know, looking back over the rules and the recommendations that have been made, I think that we are overlooking the fact that we can only hold the players accountable, but all wrongdoers, including management, trainers, front office and all, should be involved in this if we really want to clean up the situation we now find ourselves in.

Let me just go down the line starting with you, Mr. Schilling. Do you consider yourself a role model?

Mr. SCHILLING. Yes.

Mr. PALMEIRO. Definitely.

Mr. MCGWIRE. Yes.

Mr. SOSA. Yes.

Mr. CANSECO. Yes.

Mr. TOWNS. With that in mind, do you think that maybe posting something in a locker room might remind a person that they should not consider using? Being you’re saying that the kind of damage that takes place with the person using steroids, for instance, in locker rooms, sometimes they put what smoking will do to you and things like that. Do you think that will serve as a deterrent? I’m trying to figure out what we might be able to do if it’s a widespread kind of thing. Do you think that is a scare tactic?

Mr. SCHILLING. No, I don’t.

Mr. PALMEIRO. I’m not sure.

Mr. MCGWIRE. I can’t answer that.

Mr. SOSA. I can’t answer that.

Mr. CANSECO. Yes. I think bringing this issue to light is going to be a major deterrent. Players will be talking about this on a daily basis and will be aware there will be a lot of eyes on them, especially Congress.

Mr. TOWNS. My concern is the young people, high school ballplayers and people playing that I was wondering if this kind of technique, the scared straight sort of thing, to kind of show them that if you use, you could end up looking like this at the end of the day. That is the reason why I was thinking about that for high school players more than professionals, because my concern is that at that level, they might begin to really use it. That is a real concern. So what can we do with high schoolers? Any thoughts on that? Any suggestions? Because that is the area we need to focus on a great deal.

Mr. PALMEIRO. I believe we can go around the high schools in the country, use our names, use who we are to send the right message, to send the message that steroids are wrong and costing lives every day.

Mr. SCHILLING. I don’t think a PSA is going to do it. I think there needs to be some form of drug testing, and there needs to be ramifications to failing a drug test, be it high school or college. Until you have that and pay a price, I don’t think there is going to be a lot of thought from a 16-year old about the consequences of using.

Mr. TOWNS. If a trainer has information about the fact that somebody is using, what should that trainer do? And I’m thinking in terms of in colleges, that if you see someone cheating and you don’t tell, they put you out, too. So I’m thinking about the fact that if you have a trainer that is very much aware of the fact that illegal actions are taking place, and nobody is doing a thing about it, does anything happen to that person? You have a trainer who might be aware of the fact that somebody is using steroids. He knows it, but he just walks around every day and doesn’t tell anybody about the fact that this is going on.

Mr. SCHILLING. Might be aware or definitely know? Might be aware that someone is using?

Mr. TOWNS. Yes. Has information that somebody is using and not do anything about it.

Mr. SCHILLING. Unless you have a verifiable fact, I think you are treading on dangerous ground. We are here because of some people that had a loose tongue and said things that I don’t believe are entirely true. And it could cause a lot more problems than it solves.

Mr. PALMEIRO. If the trainer knows for sure, it is his responsibility to make the player aware and educate the player.

Mr. MCGWIRE. I agree with Raffy, I think that would be a great step.

Mr. PALMEIRO. Exactly.

Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Sosa.

Mr. SOSA. I agree. I agree with Raffy. I think it is probably something we all should do.

Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Canseco.

Mr. CANSECO. I definitely believe and know that they are under the same circumstances, some Major League players are under— meaning if they come to the forefront and speak about it, Major League Baseball will do something to them in the sense of maybe blackballing them from the game or causing them a lot of problems.

Mr. TOWNS. In other words, there would be some penalties, if the trainer does not report it, that he should be penalized?

Mr. CANSECO. It’s a very delicate position he is in. The example I can give you, let’s say one player knows another player is using steroids, or this player is still active, or one player wants to come to the forefront but he is still active in Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is very powerful, and if you act against them or speak out against them, it can cost you your livelihood, definitely.

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