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Steroid Testimony: Questioning by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

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Ms. FOXX. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Candice Miller asked one of the questions that I wanted to ask about whether, if the policy were in effect years ago, would it have made a difference. But I want to ask another question and that is, why do you think—I will ask each player this—why has it taken so long for the League to act on this, since it seems to have been so wide—that it was so well-known that abuse was going on; why has it taken the League so long to act?

Mr. CANSECO. Basically something like a book written about the problems in Major League Baseball had to be done, absolutely. I think it definitely triggered a lot of events. I think it finally made Major League Baseball aware of that, you know, or in the sense of stuff covering up, what was really going on.

Mr. SOSA. I don’t really know, I am not sure.

Mr. MCGWIRE. Can you ask the question one more time?

Ms. FOXX. Why has it taken so long for the League to act, for professional baseball to act on this issue? There’s a policy in effect now, I think it’s a very weak policy, but why has it taken so long to institute any policy?

Mr. MCGWIRE. I don’t know. But there is a great reason why we are here today: to try to fix it.

Mr. PALMEIRO. Ma’am, I am not sure why it has taken so long. You may have to ask the Commissioner and the Players Association.

Mr. SCHILLING. I don’t know—there was a policy in place before the book came out. The only thing I think that has happened in the last 6 months is that the policy has changed and gotten in some ways stronger.

Ms. FOXX. Thank you.

Chairman TOM DAVIS. Thank you. The policy is weaker than the Minor League testing at this point, and the Minor League had it way before, and I think one of the concerns is among professional sports, baseball has been a little bit late coming to the table and maybe a little bit short of where some of the standards are. That’s one of the concerns. Obviously, we will see how this is implemented. There’s active testing going on now, but there is a concern, as you can hear from us and some of the other experts, that maybe it doesn’t go far enough and hopefully this hearing will shine some light on it. Between the players and the owners, we can come up and close some of these loopholes and make it work. The last thing you want is us making the policy, I guarantee it. We don’t do things very well anyway when we get into it. We act as the last resort. But there’s still a lot of concern, not that—it is late, but it is not as complete as we had hoped it would be. But your speaking here is very helpful.

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