Senior Democrat seeks hearings on steroid use
WASHINGTON -- A senior House Democrat urged Thursday that Jose Canseco and others the former baseball slugger accused of abusing steroids, including Mark McGwire, be called before Congress to testify on use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Rep. Henry Waxman of California, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, said representatives from Major League Baseball and the players' association also should appear before the panel to explain how they plan to stop the use of dangerous drugs by baseball players.
Waxman made his request for hearings to the chairman of the committee, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. There was no immediate response from Davis' office.
In Canseco's book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big,'' he admits using steroids and alleges that McGwire often injected the drugs with him. He said he introduced steroids to former Rangers teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez. All have publicly denied Canseco's charges.
"Mr. Canseco insists his information is accurate,'' but Major League Baseball says it will not investigate the allegations, Waxman said. Hearings with Canseco, McGwire and others "would be an opportunity to find out what really happened and to get to the bottom of this growing scandal.''
Major League Baseball and the players union in January agreed to a tougher steroid-testing program that will suspend first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly test players year-round. Players and owners hope to finalize their new agreement by Tuesday, the mandatory reporting date for spring training.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who had threatened baseball with legislation, praised the agreement as a "significant breakthrough'' but said he would have preferred tougher penalties and the inclusion of amphetamines on the list of banned items.
The commissioner's office and the union had no immediate comment.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press