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Steroid Testimony: Questioning by Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

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Mr. CUMMINGS. First of all, I want to thank all of you for being here, and, you know, Mr. Canseco, I have been taking a look at your book, and you said some things that really—I hear all of you, and I’m trying to feel good this hearing. But at the same time, I see you and Mr. McGwire with almost tears in your eyes when you are talking, and everyone is willing to come and be the spokespersons to help those families who may be trying to deal with this issue and prevent it in the future.

But, Mr. Canseco, let me ask you this. You said in your book, and this is in your book, I’m tired of hearing such short-sighted crap from people who have no idea what they are talking about. Steroids are here to stay. That’s a fact, I guarantee. Steroids are the future. By the time my 8-year-old daughter Josie has graduated from high school, a majority of all professional athletes in all sports will be taking steroids, and believe it or not, that’s good news.

Help me with that. You sit here one moment talking about how you want to do all these wonderful things to prevent it in the future, but then it sounds like you are saying something almost the opposite in your statement in your book.

Mr. CANSECO. I think that was very much pertaining to two subjects. No. 1, if Congress does nothing about this issue, it will go on forever. That I guarantee you. And basically steroids are only good for certain individuals, not good for everyone. I think I specify that, in previous chapters, if you medically need it, if it is prescribed to you. I think those are the things I spoke about.

Mr. CUMMINGS. You realize it is a Federal crime to abuse steroids?

Mr. CANSECO. Yes.

Mr. CUMMINGS. Are you now for a zero tolerance policy?

Mr. CANSECO. Absolutely.

Mr. CUMMINGS. You made some allegations, and as I understand it, Mr. Schilling, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Sosa and Mr. Palmeiro said they never used the substances. Is that right, Mr. Sosa?

Mr. SOSA. Yes.

Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. McGwire, would you like to comment on that? I didn’t hear you say anything about it. You don’t have to. I just ask. You don’t want to comment. Are you taking the fifth?

Mr. MCGWIRE. I’m not here to discuss the past. I’m here to be positive about this subject.

Mr. CUMMINGS. I’m trying to be positive, too. But just a few minutes ago, I watched you with tears—I need to ask a question.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. The gentleman made it clear.

Mr. CUMMINGS. I made it clear, and I’m just telling him something. I sit here and I almost got tears in my eyes watching you testify. And, you know, the thing that I’m curious about is, you know, it’s one thing to say that we want to help. It’s a whole another thing when those parents are sitting directly behind you and they wonder if this is real.

I guess my question is you said something about your foundation and trying to help out. Tell us exactly what it is that you plan for your foundation to do.

Mr. MCGWIRE. Well, right now?

Mr. CUMMINGS. Talking about the future, as you said.

Mr. MCGWIRE. My foundation helps out neglected and abused children. We have not talked about it, but I’m going to redirect about this subject.

Mr. CUMMINGS. You are willing to be a national spokesman against steroids? We have all these high school kids that are emulating you and still look up to McGwire and others. And I think you said you are willing to be a national spokesman?

Mr. MCGWIRE. I would be a great one.

Mr. CUMMINGS. You would do it?

Mr. MCGWIRE. Absolutely.

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