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Steroid Testimony: Questioning by Congressman Tom Lantos

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Mr. LANTOS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I increasingly feel a feeling of the theater of the absurd unfolding here. We are all interested in the future, but in order to plan a better future in this field, we must look at the past. In every single endeavor as we plan for the future, unless we learn from the past, it will be a futile endeavor.

I am totally disinterested in individual past behavior, let me make that clear. But there are a few specific questions I would like all of you gentleman to respond to. Jim Bunning, our former colleague testified earlier today, who said that the industry is taking baby steps. Well, baby steps are clearly not adequate when we are facing a major national crisis impacting our young people. That’s why we are here; that’s why all the media is here. So to pretend that baby steps will solve this problem is ludicrous.

So I would like to ask each of you gentlemen to answer the following questions. You have already said, some of you, that you favor the Olympics formula. Could I ask all of you to say yes or no? It is a much tougher formula, much more demanding, with much more severe penalties. Mr. Schilling, are you in favor of it?

Mr. SCHILLING. I would need to see it first. I wouldn’t give a blanket yes or no.

Mr. LANTOS. Are you in favor of much stricter penalties?

Mr. SCHILLING. I’m in favor of allowing the current system to continue to work, and where loopholes are found, loopholes need to be fixed. I think the testing is doing what it is aimed to do, which is reduce the usage of steroids by players.

Mr. PALMEIRO. I’m in favor of eliminating the problem completely.

Mr. LANTOS. Obviously, the Olympics are internationally recognized as it has been referred to as the gold standard. If, in fact, that is the gold standard, would you be in favor of applying to in baseball?

Mr. PALMEIRO. I would play under any type of deal that would clean our sport and make it level playing field for everyone.

Mr. LANTOS. Thank you.

Mr. McGwire.

Mr. MCGWIRE. Being that I’m retired, I think that anything that Major League Baseball can do to get rid of this problem and put a positive light on this for our children and our future, I think it would be great.

Mr. SOSA. Yes, I am in favor.

Mr. CANSECO. I’m definitely in favor of it, but I think you have to monitor whoever is issuing this test.

Mr. LANTOS. The second question I have is are you in favor of independent testing, because one of the issues that emerged is that unless all testing is done by a totally independent entity, which has nothing to do with the owners, the players, it stands by itself.

Would you favor that, Mr. Schilling?

Mr. SCHILLING. Yes.

Mr. PALMEIRO. Yes.

Mr. MCGWIRE. I think it would be outstanding.

Mr. SOSA. Yes, sir.

Mr. CANSECO. Going to be the only way you are going to solve this.

Mr. LANTOS. Final question. On the assumption that within a reasonable period of time the industry doesn’t clean up its own act, are you in favor of Federal legislation, Mr. Schilling?

Mr. SCHILLING. Yes.

Mr. PALMEIRO. I agree. I agree.

Mr. MCGWIRE. If that’s what it takes, yes.

Mr. SOSA. Yes.

Mr. CANSECO. Yes.

Mr. LANTOS. Thank you very much.

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