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Baseball: mccain threatens to sic the feds on baseball

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posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 06:44 PM
maybe this is what it will take to make baseball clean up it's house

McCain Wants MLB to Tighten Drug Policy

By WILLIAM C. MANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) is demanding immediate action by representatives of major league baseball's players and owners to tighten the sport's drug-testing policy "to restore the integrity of baseball."

Expressing dismay over recurring reports of steroid abuse by some of the game's top stars, the Arizona senator repeated a threat he made before the last season to legislate a stricter rules if the sport fails to police itself.

The long-simmering steroid allegations hit the headlines this week with reports of grand jury testimony in San Francisco that linked to steroid abuse such stars as the game's all-time single-season home run champion, Barry Bonds, and New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi.

In an interview televised Friday night on ABC's "20/20," the head of a nutritional supplements lab implicated in the story added the names of top track and football stars to those he said had used illegal substances. Victor Conte, head of Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, said he didn't know whether Bonds, who plays for the San Francisco Giants, had used steroids.

"I am dismayed — though not surprised" by the reports, McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said Friday in a statement. "Still, Major League Baseball and its players insist on turning a blind eye to the misconduct that threatens to undermine the legitimacy of their sport."

He demanded quick action by Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, and the players' union head, Don Fehr, to solve the problem.

"To restore the integrity of baseball, Commissioner Selig and Don Fehr must meet immediately — not merely by spring training as the commissioner has promised — and agree to implement a drug-testing policy that is at least as stringent as the one observed by the minor league program," McCain said.

McCain told The Washington Post in an interview that "I'll give them until January, and then I'll introduce legislation."

McCain, who attended the Army-Navy football game Saturday with President Bush (news - web sites), refused to talk to reporters there.

It is unclear how much support such a proposal would have in Congress — the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (news - web sites), Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., complained last year that McCain's idea would rewrite baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

Selig said he is committed to ridding baseball of performance-enhancing substances and is demanding that the players' association to adopt a stronger testing policy modeled after the minor leagues' more stringent program.

"The use of these substances continues to raise issues regarding the game's integrity and raises serious concerns about the health and well-being of our players," Selig said.

The union declined comment during the week but has said it is willing to discuss the drug policy with management. The current policy was adopted in September 2002 and runs until December 2006

posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:31 PM
While I'd vote for McCain any day over the idiot that we have in the Wite House now, why does the government have to get inovolved? There are much more important things in our society for the Congress to be worried about.

posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:42 PM
it might be the only way to get baseball and all pro sports to enact a decent drug policy...if it has to come to the point where the federal government is involved to get some action i am all for it...if for no other reason than using steroids is a federal crime,and the players association's are shielding the users, pro sports uses all kinds of public money for stadiums, and the owners have federal anti-trust protection....if this is what it takes to clean up be it

posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 06:07 PM
I'd rather see local law enforcement involved more, the feds shouldn't have to be.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 06:22 PM
You can't locally enforce these types of problems. It really has to be done on a federal level.

If these guys are committing crimes, I do not think being a baseball player or part of a player's union shields them from prosecution.

My mantra on this issue remans the same: What are you going to do about drugs that cannot be detected?

I think the short answer is, Nothing! Not the states, not baseball, not the feds, not even John McCain who is a real hero can do anything unless the thing can be proven. In general, unless someone else squeals, it looks like it cain't.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 06:44 PM
How exactly are the feds gonna enforce this issue? By placing agents in the locker rooms? Aren't there more importatn things for them to be worried about this day and age?

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 07:56 PM
Ok Gibbs, let me back off and ask you, How is ANYBODY going to enforce this issue?

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 08:04 PM
Exactly, so why put the onus on the feds? At the local level, the manpower is there, they just need to be relocated. At higher levels of government, new posistions need to be created, increasing the bulk of our government, and placing a heavier burden on taxpayers. I'm still quite upset that I'm paying for stadioums in Philly and Pittsburgh. I don't need to be paying for this.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 08:15 PM
the feds may not have ot enforce drug rules, hopefully the threat of them doing so will concince the owners and players that people are serious about this situation.
how about a federal sports drug lab, it could be funded by the leagues and the players associations...full time crews that travel city to city unnanounced for suprise random samples that are sent back to the main elab would be responsible for testing th esamples and for the research to stay ahead of the cheaters...a no tolerance policy...if ya cheat you are working at walmart...can't do that, they have a pre hiring drug test even there

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 08:17 PM
decent idea, but I'm sure we'd end up paying for it in some fashion

posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 10:02 PM
Sounds good to me, Toe. Ultimately, consumers (read "ticket prices") will always be paying the freight, but if something can be done to stay ahead of the cheaters, I'm all for it.

I also like the zero tolerance policy. These guys make such big money that it would be crazy to risk it all, if they know there is diligent tracking of this stuff.

Toe's idea almost seems too smart for the powers to be, but it would be really smart (for the purity of the sport, fan confidence, and general good PR) to have all of the major sport organizations fund a central lab, with offices in all cities having teams. I like it!

posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 10:22 PM
I think a zero tolerance policy would be the way to go. But I don't forsee that ever actually happening.

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