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Congress may legislate sports drug-testing

Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:02 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Sports commissioners and union leaders sat beside each other Wednesday as a U.S. House panel debated if and how to enforce a proposed drug-testing program.

Representatives for four major sports -- baseball, basketball, football and hockey -- testified before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection on whether drug testing recommended in the Mitchell Report should be enforced legislatively or remain a collective bargaining matter, the Los Angeles Times reported. The report concerned performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

Only Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said they'd be open to legislation.

"I am aware that some members of Congress are considering introducing legislation to create federally mandated drug-testing in professional sports," said Donald Fehr, executive director of the MLB Players Association. "I do not think any such action is necessary, warranted or appropriate."

After the hearing Selig backed away from his support, saying he misunderstood the question.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., said he would introduce legislation on the issue.

"In spite of the fact that they want to pronounce that they have it under control, I still think that it's not fully under control," Rush said.

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