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
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