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Steroid Testimony: Questioning by Congressman Tom Davis

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Chairman TOM DAVIS. Let me start the questioning so we can move this along.

Mr. Schilling, I will ask you and ask Mr. Palmeiro, as I read the Major League policy, it says if the player tests positive for a steroid, a 10-day suspension or up to a $10,000 fine. So under the policy, a suspension is optional, and you could do a fine up to $10,000. It could be less than that. Our feeling is it ought to be—with clarity, it ought to be a suspension because a suspension carries with it a public acknowledgement. Under the rules as we read them, a fine does not. Do you have any thoughts on that? I am not trying to put you in the middle.

Mr. SCHILLING. I don’t think for a second there is any question about making names public upon a failed test. I can’t speak at length as to why the clause is in there, but I was given the impression, and I’m under the impression, there will be no chance for a failed test to not be made public.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. It is not what it says, just to let you understand. Your position, you think it ought to be made public?

Mr. SCHILLING. I think that’s the position of players as a whole.

Mr. PALMEIRO. I believe the players should be suspended. I believe our policy needs to be strong, and I think we need to give it a chance, but I believe the player needs to be suspended.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. That is one of the major concerns, and it was a huge surprise to us as we walk through here. Mr. Canseco, let me ask you a question going back. It is your position that Major League Baseball knew that there was steroid use going on and for years didn’t do anything to stop it?

Mr. CANSECO. Absolutely, yes.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. When you signed a contract with the team, is it your opinion that people knew about the players that they were signing and investigated, given the investment they were making in them?

Mr. CANSECO. I’m under the impression they even did background checks on them.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. So in all likelihood they would know if a player was taking steroids and what their private lives were because that could jeopardize their ability to perform?

Mr. CANSECO. I believe so, yes.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. And why do you think baseball didn’t do anything about this?

Mr. CANSECO. I guess in baseball at the time there was a saying, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And baseball was coming back to life. Steroids were part of the game. And I don’t think anyone really wanted to take a stance on it.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. I wanted to wait until we got people in the room. Mr. Palmeiro, I want to thank you for also agreeing to be a representative on the Zero Tolerance Advisory Committee on ending steroid use in sports. I want to thank Mr. Sosa and Mr. McGwire for agreeing to support the efforts for the advisory committee as well. It is important that we get all athletes out there publicly on this issue.

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