ESPN.com's steroid hearing scorecard
More than 11 hours after it began, the House committee hearing on steroid use in Major League Baseball finally came to a close Thursday night.
ESPN.com's Darren Rovell and Wayne Drehs combined to provide wire-to-wire updates on the panelists' testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform in Washington.
The hearing was divided into four panels. It started with a Hall of Fame pitcher -- Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) -- and ended with four baseball executives, including commissioner Bud Selig.
The executives followed six former and current players called to testify, including former major-league slugger Jose Canseco, whose controversial book "Juiced" has accused players of steroid use, including former teammate Mark McGwire.
Click on the links below for highlights from each panel (all times listed are ET).
Committee chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) made an opening statement. He cited studies that suggest that high school athletes think steroids are less harmful and that the number of high school athletes that have taken steroids has tripled over the last decade.
He also chastised baseball executives for their reluctance to come forward when they were originally issued subpoenas and the appearance that their drug policy was not as clear cut as the public might have believed.
"I think they misjudged the seriousness of our purpose," Davis said. "I think they misjudged the will of the American public. I think they mistakenly believed we got into this on a whim. We did not. We gave this serious, serious consideration and we have decided that it's time to break the code of silence that has been enveloped the game."
Davis concluded by saying that "we're in the first inning of what could be an extra inning ball game," and that "the truth needs to come out, however ugly the truth might be."
"For 30 years, Major League Baseball has told us to trust them, but the league hasn't honored that trust and it hasn't acted to protect the integrity of baseball or sent the right message to millions of teenagers who idolize ballplayers."
Said Cummings: "Despite numerous reports of steroid use by individual ballplayers, the league has not once exercised its authority to investigate allegations of illegal steroid use."
Former Major League pitcher and current U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) said the penalties under Major League Baseball's current drug policy are "puny." He advocates a first discovery of steroids should yield a one-month suspension, a second should be a year suspension and the third should be an automatic expulsion from the game.
"Mr. Chairman, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I remembered that players didn't get any better as they got older," Bunning said. "We all got worse. When I played with Henry Aaron and Willie Mays and Ted Williams, they didn't put on 40 pounds and bulk up in their careers, and they didn't hit more home runs in their late 30s than they did in their late 20s. What is happening in baseball now isn't natural and it isn't right."
Bunning spoke and then was questioned for four minutes by Rep. Davis on baseball's current policy. Both agree that the policy is too weak.
"If they started in 1992 or 1993 illegally using steroids, wipe all of their records out," Bunning said. "Take them away. They don't deserve them. Go ask Henry Aaron. Go ask the family of Roger Maris. Go ask all of the people that played without enhanced drugs if they would like their records compared with the current records."
"If you are going to grant an exemption and they don't honor the exemption that they have and respect the fact that they have it, where major league football doesn't, and major league basketball doesn't have it and major league hockey never had it, then they should be held accountable for that exemption. Of course it should be one of the things on the table if you are going to look at not reacting to this crisis that is before them."
Following the break, Rep. Davis introduced Raymond and Dr. Denise Garibaldi. The Garibaldis' son, Rob, a former USC baseball player, killed himself in October 2002.
The Garibaldis explained that their son's heroes were Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. As a skinny athlete, they said their son bulked up on steroids in order to become draft-eligible. It eventually led to psychological problems and ultimately his suicide.
"Canseco states that his counterparts imply that as long as you trust your instincts, control carefully the amounts, administer them at a proper time and be smart, careful and know what you are doing, full potential can be reached," Dr. Garibaldi said. "I'd like to know where Dr. Canseco got his research. ... How many more youngsters will die questing ego and fame for steroids?"
Said Hooton Sr.: "How do you think your [MLB players'] refusals to talk are playing in the court of opinion? Let me tell you that the national jury of young people have already judged your actions and concluded that many of you are guilty of using drugs. But instead of convicting you, they have decided to follow your lead. In tens of thousands of homes across America, our 16- and 17-year-old children are injecting themselves with steroids just like you big-leaguers do."
Said Pellman: "Instead of coming to conclusions about whether or not there was a quarter or a dollar picked from my pocket, I suggest you wait until you get all the information."
Said Waxman: "I recommend the same for you before you tell us what's in the document."
Jose Canseco opens with his statement. He seems very nervous, and gives his condolences to the families who have been affected by steroids. He says he won't be able to give answers to every question because he was not given immunity.
Sammy Sosa comes next. His interpreter reads Sosa's opening statement, in which he denies ever taking steroids. Sosa himself adds little.
Mark McGwire is next. He's very serious and has a hard time getting words out in his opening statement. During his seven minute opening statement, he licks his lips while his voice shakes and he takes three drinks of water during tough moments. He explains the Catch-22 of the hearings: "If a player answers no, he simply will not be believed," McGwire said. "If he says yes, he faces endless scorn." McGwire offers to become a spokesman for baseball in their efforts against performance-enhancing drugs.
Rafael Palmiero then talks. He denies ever using steroids. In his opening statement, Curt Schilling blasts Canseco for writing his book and says he hopes this doesn't serve as a way to sell more books. He also defends baseball, citing that the league has made strides in recent years to curtail use of performance-enhancing drugs. Frank Thomas concludes the opening statements by joining via video conference. He denies ever taking steroids.
Said Canseco: "The most effective thing right now is for us to admit there's a major problem ... From what I'm hearing I was the only individual in major league baseball to use steroids. That's hard to believe."
Sweeney then pressed McGwire on androstenedione. "I'm here to talk about the positive and not the negative," McGwire said. Sweeney pressed on. "I'm not here to talk about the past," McGwire continued. He is then questioned by Rep. Elijah Cummings. McGwire says he plans to redirect some of the money from his foundation, which goes to neglected and abused children and "redirect it towards this issue." He also says he'd be "a great spokesman" in the campaign against performance enhancing drugs.
Said Rep. Mark Souder apparently referencing McGwire not wanting to talk about the past: "If the Enron people come in here and say, 'Well we don't want to talk about the past,' do you think congress is going to let them get away with that? ... If we don't talk about the past, how in the world are we supposed to pass legislation when you are a protected monopoly and all your salaries are paid because you are a protected monopoly? How are we supposed to figure out what our obligations are to the taxpayers if you say we won't talk about the past?"
Four hours after initially scheduled and after a long and grueling day, a visibly exhausted Bud Selig finally reads his opening statement, going over the progress he says baseball has made in its drug policy on the major- and minor-league levels. It's the exact statement, word for word, that Selig released Wednesday night.
For much of the day, members of the committee have criticized baseball's new policy, insisting there are loopholes, including one in which first-time offenders can be suspended or fined.
Said Selig, "Let me set one thing straight. I will suspend any player who tests positive. There will be no exceptions. The union is aware of that and accepts it."
"The players' association does not condone or support the use of any unlawful substance," Fehr said. "I can't put it any more plainly. The use of such substance is wrong."
Waxman to Selig: "In a first offense, two years' suspension and second violation, you're out of the game. That's worked in the Olympics and would be a clear signal."
Selig's response: "Yes, I wanted tougher testing. I believe there should be tougher testing."
Waxman: "So let me ask, Mr. Fehr, would you support it? The players said they would support it? Would you support a tougher testing program?"
Fehr: "It's not a simple yes-or-no answer. I believe my obligation to the players is to consult with everyone, when they're not under the glare of TV cameras. My personal view with violations of substance abuse is not to destroy careers; it's to stop it. And if we can stop it and put people on the right track and get them back to playing, that is manifestly better."
Shays, talking to Manfred: "I think I need to calm down. The commissioner announced this policy in January. And you're telling me that the document wasn't drafted until March? All you do by your answers is make me want to know more and more what the hell you do.
"Then you give us the information and tell us it's a drafting issue. That's unbelievable. Why should somebody have five strikes?"
Selig: "That's the best we could do in collective bargaining."
Shays: "So it's the players' fault?"
Selig: "It's not the players' fault."
Shays: "I want to know why you can break the law once, twice, five times, then you're out. Mr. Fehr?"
Fehr: "We believe in the concept of progressive discipline."
Shays: "Even if you're breaking the law?
"What you're telling the kids is you can break the law four times before you're out of the game. To me, that's amazing. To the commissioner, I don't know why you don't fight for what you want and fight like hell to get it."
With that, Shays' time was up.
Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) continues the inquiry.
"We're upset. It doesn't matter if you're Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative," Souder said."I think spring training is already under way. And you're telling me this document was just drafted?"
Manfred answers the committee's concerns.
"Even though we reached this agreement in January, we began operating under this agreement on March 3, in the camps, taking urine samples. I understand you wanted it faster, but that was as fast as we could get it done.
"This is a long and complicated document. You did identify one spot where it could have been drafted better."
Said Souder, "Sir you've been saying this is one part we've made an error in. It is the pivotal part. It's the penalty. And with that, my time is up."
The floor now belongs to Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.). He, too, takes baseball's brass to task.
"Mr. Manfred, we got a saying down home -- 'You got your hat handed to you.' "
When reading different pieces of baseball's drug policy, he comments, "there's a lot of people in prison that would like this sort of deal."
"We've got a problem here," Sanders said. "If the L.A. Times says something, are they wrong? Just out of curiosity, if there's an article in a major newspaper, somebody should say there's a major problem, don't you think?"
Selig defends baseball, insisting that nobody in the sport turned their back on the steroid issue. Sanders concludes his questioning with a final, definitive statement.
"Let me just say this: I think people are saying, obviously we all know people with money are treated differently. There are God knows how many people rotting in jails. What people in America want to know is that people who are committing the same crimes are treated the same. And that is not the case.
"I would hope that the union and management would substantially raise the standards to tell people who are making millions and millions of dollars, if they want to make that sort of money, they have to not do drugs. Period."
"I don't want to badger you, but all I keep hearing is what we hear is this is a collective bargaining issue," Gutknecht said. "But it's a criminal and a moral issue."
After pressing Fehr to instruct the players to accept a tougher policy, he turns to Selig and questions baseball's records.
"Mr. Selig, if you had credible evidence that records have been set by people who used illegal chemicals, what would you do?"
Selig, after being asked for the fifth time in the session to speak closer to the microphone: "If I had credible evidence, I'd do something about it.
"There's no question there's a problem. And we need to do something about it. The fact of the matter is it's very difficult; there is no tangible evidence."
Interestingly enough, in front of Commissioner Selig and the rest of Major League Baseball's representatives, he uses the example of putting cork in a bat, an example he didn't mention hours earlier, when Sammy Sosa was in front of the committee.
"I don't think we have time to wait," he said.
Looking at the agreement in front of him, Lynch shakes his head. "There are so many loopholes, it's just unbelievable," he said. "And the statement that the language of the contract, a collective bargaining agreement ... as a former union labor attorney, I find it unbelievable. Honestly."
Manfred interjects, defending the game.
"You're entitled to find it what you want, obviously," Manfred said. "The language as written, you read it to suggest the player gets to pick if he gets a fine or suspension. The agreement, even as written, however critical you want to be ... you're misreading the contract. Who would read an agreement where the player gets to pick the discipline?"
Lynch interrupts Manfred and goes on a closing tangent. "You know, there's a lot of stuff I've never seen here," Lynch said. "I'm not encouraged and Congress has to act. The time for waiting has long since passed.
"I'm disappointed in the testimony and the fact that people are still in denial that there's a problem ... I think Congress has to act now."
"To me, it's wholly irresponsible," he says.
Before finishing, he asks the panel what they learned from today's session. Selig is again reminded to speak into the microphone.
"It's been a most interesting day," he said. "I understand the intensity of the day, and we're going to be very sensitive to meet the feelings and complaints that this group has. From an ownership standpoint, we can do that."
Ruppersberger isn't satisfied.
"We need action," he says. "You've stated today that you feel we need a stronger policy. And you want that. Most owners do. Would you be in a position that you would not sign or participate in the existing contract? Would you in your negotiations demand a stricter policy? That's what it comes down to."
Selig: "We are bound, but hopefully, give the players' association great credit ..."
Ruppersberger interrupts him again.
"Mr. Fehr, my light is starting to come on. You're probably happy."
Fehr: "A lot of people have accused me of doing a lot of things not right. Not listening is not one of them."
Ruppersberger's conclusion: "We have an obligation. If we don't take away from today what you've heard, then Congress is going to get involved. You don't want that. I challenge you guys to coordinate, get a consensus."
He goes on to say that if Selig were the CEO of a company and had this sort of record, he would be held accountable. He even hints at thoughts of a new commissioner.
"I don't mean to be harsh, but whoever makes the decisions for baseball ought to look at the situation we're in and see that it's time for a new leadership in baseball."
He urges the owners and the players to agree on a stronger drug-testing policy. And if they can't do it in collective bargaining, he encourages them to work with Congress to push such a policy through legislation. And that the policy should include all professional sports, college sports and all the way down to amateur and high school sports.
Selig responds briefly, pointing out that he -- and not his predecessors -- put baseball's drug-testing policy in place.
Before doing so, Davis thanks the panel for its patience and, one last time, reminds them that the current drug policy is "short of the mark" and that they should look into the corrections the panel has discussed.
In the end, it's another public relations disaster for the national pastime. McGwire, sixth on the all-time home run list, is ridiculed for refusing to answer most of the committee's questions. Sosa, Palmeiro and Schilling are criticized for saying next to nothing. And Selig, Manfred and the rest of baseball's brass are condemned for revealing a drug policy that has "drafting errors."
Davis insists that from here on out, Congress will be watching.
"This is not the end of our investigation into steroids," he says.
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