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Selig, Tagliabue, Stern, Bettman called for hearing

5/12/2005

WASHINGTON -- The commissioners of Major League Baseball,
the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer will testify next week at
two days of congressional hearings about legislation calling for
standard steroid testing across U.S. sports.

In a witness list released Thursday, the House Commerce, Trade
and Consumer Protection Subcommittee said it will hear from
baseball's Bud Selig, the NBA's David Stern, the NHL's Gary
Bettman, and Don Garber of MLS on May 18, with the NFL's Paul
Tagliabue appearing the next day.

Baseball players' union head Donald Fehr, NBA players' union
chief Billy Hunter and former U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chairman
Frank Shorter will also testify.

The subcommittee's chairman, Florida Republican Cliff Stearns,
proposed the Drug Free Sports Act on April 26.

His panel's inquiry is separate from that being done by the
Government Reform Committee, which heard from baseball players and
officials on March 17, the NFL on April 27, and is scheduled to
hear from Stern on May 19.

The leaders of that committee have said they are writing
legislation of their own.

Stearns' bill would have the Commerce Secretary oversee
drug-testing rules and calls for a two-year suspension for a first
offense and a lifetime ban for a second. Leagues that don't comply
would be fined at least $5 million.

Any such bill is expected to face an uphill fight in Washington.

"It is clear that legislation is needed to establish uniform
standards and heavier penalties for steroid use," Stearns said.
"Professional sports expect world-class performances from their
players, and these athletes should be subject to world-class
testing standards."