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NFL steroids hearings produce little fire

April 27, 2005 at 7:35 PM

WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue outlined the league's steroid policy Wednesday while members of Congress said anti-drug legislation for sports was needed.

A congressional committee listened to Tagliabue and NFL union chief Gene Upshaw in hearings that were far more low-key than the acrimonious appearance of baseball officials last month.

"Under our current program, more than 9,000 tests for steroids and other prohibited substances are conducted each year," Tagliabue said. He said mandatory tests were conducted on all players prior to each season and that unannounced tests were made on seven players from each team every week.

"The percentage of NFL players who test positive for steroids is very low," said California's Henry Waxman. "Is this because the policy is working or is this because players have figured out how to avoid detection?"

Waxman said he was working on legislation to create a drug policy for all of sports in the United States, although such legislation is given little chance of making it through Congress.

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