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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Congress Holds Hearing on Steroids in Baseball
Aired March 17, 2005 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go back now to the baseball steroid hearings on Capitol Hill.
REP. TOM DAVIS (R), GOVT. REFORM CHAIRMAN: ... it says the player test positive for a steroid a ten-day suspension or up to a $10,000 fine. So, under the policy, a suspension is optional and you can do a fine up to $10,000. It could be less than that. I mean, our feeling is it ought to be, with clarity, it ought to be a suspension because a suspension carries with it a public acknowledgment. Under the rules, as we read them, a fine is not.
Do you have any thoughts of that, Mr. Schilling? I'm not trying to put you in the middle, but to us that sounds a little weak.
CURT SCHILLING, BOSTON RED SOX: Well, I don't think for a second that there's any question about making names public upon a failed test. I can't speak at length as to why the clause is in there, the "or." But I was given the impression and I'm under the impression that there will be absolutely no chance for a failed test to not be made public.
DAVIS: That's not what it says, just to let you know. I understand. But your position and your understanding is at it ought to be made public?
SCHILLING: I think that is the position of players as a whole.
DAVIS: Mr. Palmeiro, do you have the same...
RAFAEL PALMEIRO, BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Well, I agree that the players should be suspended. I believe that our policy needs to be strong and I think that we need to give it a chance. But I do believe that the player needs to be suspended.
DAVIS: OK, I mean, that -- that's one of the major concerns and it was a huge surprise to us, as it walked through here. Mr. Canseco, let me ask you a question, going back. It's your position, basically, that Major League Baseball knew that there was steroid use going on and for years didn't do anything to stop it?
JOSE CANSECO, FMR. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER: Absolutely. Yes.
DAVIS: When you signed a contract with a team they -- is it your opinion that people knew about the players that they were signing and investigate them, given the investment they were making in them?
CANSECO: I'm under the impression they even did background checks on them.
DAVIS: So, in all likelihood, they would know if the player was taking steroids, if they were -- what their private lives were, because that could jeopardize their ability to perform?
CANSECO: I believe so, yes.
DAVIS: OK. And why do you think baseball didn't do anything about this?
CANSECO: I guess in baseball, at the time, there was a saying, if it's not broke, don't fix it. And baseball was coming back to life. Steroids were part of the game. And I don't think anyone really wanted to take the stance on it.
I wanted to wait until we got some people in the room.
Mr. Palmeiro, I want to thank you for also agreeing to be representative on the zero tolerance -- the advisory committee on ending steroid use in sports, want to thank Mr. Sosa and Mr. McGwire for agreeing to support the efforts of the advisory committee, as well.
It is important that we get all athletes out there publicly on this issue, the...
Mr. Waxman, I'm going to recognize you. I appreciate you all being here.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), RANKING MEMBER: Mr. Chairman, before I start with this panel, I want to acknowledge a third family that's here with us today. That's a the family of a Efrain Marrero, a 19- year-old kid from California who loved to play football, and he killed himself after falling into the grip of steroids. As his mother Brenda has said, steroids killed my son. I understand that Efrain's mother, his father, Frank, and sister, Erica, are here today. I also understand they're working with the Garabaldis and Hootons to get the message of steroids use out to America's youth, and I want to say on behalf of all of us, thank them for coming.
On the question I want to ask -- and I don't know which of you to ask. What I want to know is, you've seen steroid use in baseball. You've seen it from inside the club house.
Mr. Palmeiro, maybe you would be best to ask and we'll see what others have to say. Is it something that most of the baseball players knew about?
PALMEIRO: Sir, I have never seen the use of steroids in the clubhouse.
WAXMAN: Well, how about just the players that are just using steroids?
PALMEIRO: Excuse me?
WAXMAN: The fact that players were using steroids, is that something other players knew?
PALMEIRO: I'm sure that players knew about it. You know, I really didn't pay much attention to it. I was focused in what I had to do as part of my job.
WAXMAN: Well, let me ask Mr. Schilling. Did players know? You've spoken out against this. Did you know that other players were using steroids?
SCHILLING: I think there was suspicion. I don't think any of us knew. Contrary to the claim of former players, I think, while I agree it's a problem, I think the issue was grossly overstated by some people, including myself.
WAXMAN: You grossly overstated it?
SCHILLING: I -- absolutely.
WAXMAN: Why did you do that?
SCHILLING: I think at the time it was a very hot situation and we were all being asked to comment on it, and I think my opinion at the time was to go with someone who maybe had a better idea than me, but given the chance to reflect -- when I made comments to that effect afterwards, when I look back on what I said, I'm not sure I could have been any more grossly wrong.
WAXMAN: Do you think it's basically a nonproblem in baseball?
SCHILLING: No, absolutely not. I think it's an issue. I think if one person's using, it's a problem. I think the desire to get to zero players using is a great goal. I don't know how achievable that is.
WAXMAN: Mr. Sosa, did you know that other players were using steroids?
SOSA: To my knowledge, I don't know.
WAXMAN: You didn't know. Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: Absolutely, yes.
WAXMAN: Now, you say it so affirmatively, you knew others were doing, but the others seem to be vague about it. Was it only where you were playing?
CANSECO: I didn't hear you, sorry.
WAXMAN: Well, they seem to be vague as to whether other players -- whether it was known by the players that some players were using steroids. Do you think there should have been any doubt in anybody's mind that steroids was being used by, you say a large number of players?
CANSECO: There should have been no doubt whatsoever. None.
WAXMAN: Well, does it stop with ball players? Steroid use has grown; do you think that the team trainers, the managers, the general managers and even the owners might have been aware that some players were using steroids?
CANSECO: No doubt in my mind. Absolutely.
WAXMAN: So, it's not a secret that stayed with just the players. Others knew it in the baseball community.
CANSECO: Absolutely, I believe that, yes.
WAXMAN: Do any of you disagree with that?
SCHILLING: Disagree with...
WAXMAN: The idea that not only did some baseball players know that others were using it, but that managers and other teammates and the trainers also were aware of it.
SCHILLING: Again, I think it falls in the same -- there was a lot of suspicion, a lot of questioning. But I don't think -- unless you were Jose and you were actually using it, I don't think you have any first-hand knowledge of who knew.
WAXMAN: Let me ask this question, last week a very respected person in the athletic world and professional sports called me with a suggestion. He said that if we want to dramatically cut the use of illegal steroids by kid, we should pass federal legislation that applies one standard to all major sports, to colleges and high schools instead of a patchwork of different policies. He suggested taking the Olympic policy and applying that program to everyone. The first violation would result in a two-year suspension, and the second would bring a life-time ban.
Do you think that would be effective?
Let me start with Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: I think, in my opinion, the most effective thing right now is would be for us to admit there is a major problem. It's got to start here. And we've got to admit to certain things we've done, and change things there. From what I'm hearing, more or less, I was the only individual in Major League Baseball who used steroids. So, that's hard to believe.
WAXMAN: OK. Mr. Sosa, do you think that we ought to have that gold standard of the Olympic program, zero tolerance? You got caught using steroids for whatever the sport is, that you're suspended for two years and after that second offense you're out. That certainly discourages people in the Olympics. Do you think it would be effective with baseball and other sports, as well? Would you push the mic?
SOSA: I can tell you, Mr. Chairman, I don't have too much to tell you.
WAXMAN: You can think about it. We don't have to get the answer right now. How about you, Mr. McGwire?
MCGWIRE: I don't know, but I think we should find the right standard.
WAXMAN: And do you think the standard that the Baseball Commission is now using is the right standard?
MCGWIRE: I don't know. I'm a retired player.
WAXMAN: OK, and you haven't looked carefully at that standard? You haven't looked at it?
WAXMAN: OK, how about you, Mr. Palmeiro? Do you think if we went to a tougher standard it would be more effective?
PALMEIRO: I wouldn't have a problem playing under any type of standard. Like I said before, I've never taken it. So, if you want to play under the rules of the Olympics, I welcome it.
WAXMAN: OK, my time is up, and I hope we'll get another chance. Mr. Sweeney.
REP. JOHN SWEENEY (R), NEW YORK: Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Welcome, all, and thank you for your participation. I want to ask a general question of the entire panel with the idea that I'd follow up with a specific. The general question is, you've all made very strong statements about your interests in helping us develop some public education process.
Very briefly because the time is short, I'd like to hear from each of you what you think the danger is, what's your perception of what happened out there in the world because of the allegations of steroid use. And secondly, what can Major League Baseball and the Players' Association do tangibly, if you have ideas. And Mr. Schilling, I'll start with you, since you're going to chair something that has to more formally answer that question. If you could.
SCHILLING: I think the inherent danger here is in the activity. I think -- I don't think a PSA is going to do it. I think there needs to be some tough legislation mandated on the level that affects high school athletics, college athletics and any level of athletics. And do agree, I think if you can come to a one standard and a blanket standard for everybody that is tough and strict and enforceable, there's no question that's the way to go.
SWEENEY: Mr. Palmeiro.
PALMEIRO: I do believe that we are role models, and we do have a lot of power in what kids listen to, and the message that we send to them. And I believe that if we do send the right message, we can help tremendously.
SWEENEY: Mr. McGwire.
MCGWIRE: I believe that's one of the reasons why I'm here, is to make this a positive thing instead of a negative thing. And I will do everything I can and in my power to turn this around from a negative to a positive.
SWEENEY: Mr. Sosa.
SOSA: I agree with Mr. McGwire. You know, one reason why we're here is to stop that. And you know, I think that we can do some more tests and one way or another we're here to help.
SWEENEY: Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: I think the most important thing is going to be awareness here. It's in the forefront right now. We're looking at it. Major League Baseball Player, whatever comes out of this meeting, we'll say, wow, we have eyes on us. They're looking at us. We've got to change something. Hopefully, this book I wrote educates people in what's really going on in sports. And how, you know, devastating the use is in Major League sports.
And no matter what comes out of this, at least, we're going to have some type of start, some type of position to say, look, you've got to start this. The owners have got to stop this continuing. The Player Association, they've got to stop this, period.
SWEENEY: I have two questions to follow up. One is that, given its impact, especially with the last panel on scholastic athletics and kids in this country, do any of you doubt that maybe Major League Baseball, when I say Major League Baseball, I'm including in it the Players' Association. Don't you think Major League Baseball has some obligation to help pay for that kind of program, because all those things cost money. Does anyone disagree with that -- the idea that Major League Baseball helps to subsidize such as...
SCHILLING: You're talking about the owners here, right?
SWEENEY: Well, I'm talking about the owners and possibly the Players' Association in conjunction.
SCHILLING: For the owners, I say yes.
SWEENEY: Very well done, Mr. Schilling. When you're done you can become an agent. My point is, baseball has an obligation here, don't you agree?
Final question, and I'm going to go into sensitive territory. And I don't -- our intent is not to embarrass anybody, it's to get to solutions. But I have to ask this. We've just established -- we all agree that this is a public health policy issue. This is not treading on conduct that rises to the level of criminality -- in past years, but this year it is. And that's the use of steroid precursors, and designer steroids and how prevalent that was in baseball, because that is part of the culture.
And specifically, Mr. McGwire, I have to ask you this question from your statement. In part 10, you essentially say that the impact on children is devastating, you recognize that. And you want people to understand that the use of any performance enhancing drug can be dangerous. It is rather an infamous occurrence that in the year you were breaking the home run record, a bottle of Andro was seen in your locker.
My question to you is, your position now says, the use of that product, which is now illegal but was not then. How did you get to that point where that was what you were using to prepare yourself to play? And if you could tell this committee how you ended up there. And then, if I have time left, I'd like to know if other players have similar experiences. I think that'd help us understand what you all live in.
MCGWIRE: Well, sir, I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to talk about the positive and not the negative about this issue.
SWEENEY: Were you ever counseled that precursors or designer steroids might have the same impact?
MCGWIRE: I'm not here to talk about the past.
SWEENEY: Well, Mr...
SWEENEY: I'd simply say that in order to eliminate and alleviate the kinds of questions that surround the game, we need to understand the game.
DAVIS: OK. Thank you. Time (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the time has expired. Gentleman from Baltimore.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Yes, first of all, I want to thank all of you for being here. And, you know, Mr. Canseco, I've been, you know, taking a look at your book and you said some things that really, you know, I hear all of you. I'm sitting here and I'm listening and I'm trying to -- trying to feel good about this hearing.
But at the same time, I see you, Mr. McGwire, with almost tears in your eyes when you're talking. I hear everybody saying that now they're willing to come and be the spokespersons to help those families who may be trying to deal with this issue and prevent it in the future.
But, Mr. Canseco, let me ask you this. You said in your book, and this is in your book, "I'm tired of hearing such short-cited crap from people who have no idea what they're talking about. Steroids are here to stay. That's a fact, I guarantee it. Steroids are the future. By the time my 8-year-old daughter, Josie, has graduated from high school, a majority of all professional athletes in all sports will be taking steroids. And believe it or not, that's good news."
Help me with that. You sit here one moment talking about how you want to do all these wonderful things to prevent it in the future, but then it sounds like you're saying something almost the opposite in this statement in your book.
CANSECO: I think that was very much pertaining to two subjects.
Number one, if Congress does nothing about this issue, it will go on forever. That, I guarantee. And, basically, steroids are only good for certain individuals, not good for everyone. I think I specify that in previous chapters. If you medically need it, if it is prescribed to you, I think those were the things I actually spoke about.
CUMMINGS: So, you are against it? You realize this is a federal crime? Is that right?
CUMMINGS: The use of steroids?
CUMMINGS: And so -- so, are you now for a zero-tolerance policy?
CUMMINGS: Now, we've had -- you made some allegations. And, as I understand it, both Mr. Schilling, Mr. Thomas Mr. Palmeiro and I think Mr. Sosa have said they never used the substances.
Is that right, Mr. Sosa? You said you that, right? You said you had never...
CUMMINGS: OK. Is that right? I -- all right.
Now, McGwire, would you like to comment on that? I didn't get a definitive answer. I didn't hear you say anything about it. And you don't have to. I just asked.
You don't want to comment?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (OFF-MIKE) ... taking the Fifth?
CUMMINGS: Are you taking the Fifth?
MCGWIRE: I'm not here to discuss the past. I'm here to be positive about this subject.
CUMMINGS: I'm trying to be positive, too. But just a few minutes ago, I watched you, as tears...
CUMMINGS: No, no, no. I need to be able to -- answer my question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the gentleman, in his opening statement, made it clear that he...
CUMMINGS: Well, I'm making a statement. I'm just telling him something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
CUMMINGS: I listened. I sit here and I almost got tears in my eyes watching you testify. And, you know, the thing that I guess I'm curious about is that, you know, it's one thing to say that we want to help. It's a whole another thing when those parents are sitting, by the way, directly behind you, and then they wonder, is this real?
And I guess, my question is, you said something about your foundation and trying to help out. Tell us exactly what it is you plan for your foundation to do.
MCGWIRE: Well, right now?
CUMMINGS: Yes. I'm talking about the present and the future, as you said.
MCGWIRE: Well, my foundation helps out neglected and abused children. I am going to redirect it. We have not talked about it, but I am going to redirect about this subject.
CUMMINGS: And you are -- you're willing to be a national spokesman against steroids?
See, we have got all these high school kids that are -- have -- are emulating you all, although you're out of the game now. They still look out to a McGwire and others.
And, so, you -- I think you said you're willing to be a national spokesman?
MCGWIRE: I'd be a great one.
CUMMINGS: So, that means you would do it?
MCGWIRE: Be a spokesperson?
CUMMINGS: All right.
(CROSSTALK) DAVIS: The gentleman's time is expired.
Ms. Miller. Ms. Miller.
REP. CANDICE MILLER (R), MICHIGAN: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Perhaps just a question for Mr. Canseco.
And I appreciate all of the panelists coming here today sincerely.
But, in your book, you did admit that you were a user and abuser of steroids. And you did suggest that perhaps steroids perhaps were a good thing for players to use. I think you said in your book that, if used properly, steroids could help you live to be 120 years old.
Unfortunately, during your playing career, baseball did really not have the testing policy in place against the use of steroids, no testing regime. And I also want to applaud you for your testimony today, saying that you're willing to work towards educating our young people about the dangers of steroid.
But could you answer, even if the new random testing policy that the Major Leagues are putting in place today, if that was in place during your playing career, do you think it would have changed your behavior in regards to steroids, or do you think that the desire to play better was just so strong that the standard that is going to be in place today is going to eliminate steroid use in Major League Baseball?
CANSECO: I don't know exactly how the policy for Major League Baseball is structured right now, but I have heard it's a complete joke.
Obviously, if it were a proper system, completely educating athletes and so forth, I truly believe that no Major League player would do steroids, absolutely not.
MILLER: It's my understanding that the new policy is a random test once -- at least one time during the season for each player. So -- and I suppose we'll have some additional questions for the next panel on that.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That's my only question.
DAVIS: If you have some time left, if you would yield to Mr. Burton, he has a question.
MILLER: I will yield to the gentleman.
BURTON: Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I don't have a question.
I'd just like to say that it's evident from this hearing that a lot more needs to be done to make sure that not only the baseball world, but the entire world of athletics knows that these kinds of drugs need to be outlawed. And I'd just like to say I understand the commissioner has started to move in the right direction. But, evidently, he hasn't moved fast enough.
So, rather than me questioning the players who are here today or pound on this subject anymore, I'd just like to say that I hope the message is very loud and clear from this committee and from the Congress of the United States. We want this stuff stopped in all athletics, not just baseball. And I think you can tell by the tone of my colleagues up here, if it doesn't stop, you're going to end up with something that you don't want in the world of athletics. And that is the Congress of the United States doing what you don't do.
So, do the job. Baseball players, whom I have respected since I was a kid, go out there and tell the kids. Even if you used steroids, tell them, this is not the right thing to do. Tell them about the people who have lost their kids because of this misuse of steroids.
And if you do that job, if you preach the gospel and if the baseball commissioner and everybody in baseball gets the word out, this will change. You won't have to have Congress legislating. You'll get the job done. But do the job, so that we don't have to. And I hope this message goes loud and clear to people in every athletic endeavor, not just baseball.
And if it does, then this hearing, Mr. Chairman, because of you and Mr. Waxman, will be a great benefit to all sport.
Thank you very much.
DAVIS: Thank you very much.
REP. TOM LANTOS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I increasingly feel a feeling of the theater of the absurd unfolding here. We're all interested in the future, but in order to plan a better future in this field, we must look at the past. In every single endeavor, as we plan for the future, unless we learn from the past, it will be a futile endeavor.
I am totally disinterested in individual past behavior. Let me make that clear. But there are a few specific questions I would like all of you gentlemen to respond to.
Jim Bunning, our former colleague, testified earlier today, who said that the industry is taking baby steps. Well, baby steps are clearly not adequate when we are facing a major national crisis impacting our young people. That's why we are here. That's why all the media is here. So, to pretend that baby steps will solve this problem is ludicrous.
So, I'd like to ask each of you gentlemen to answer the following questions. You've already said, some of you, that you favor the Olympics' formula. Could I ask all of you to say yes or no. It's a much tougher formula, much more demanding, with much more severe penalties.
Mr. Schilling, are you in favor of it?
SCHILLING: Excuse me. I would need to see it first. I wouldn't just give a blanket yes or no. I mean...
LANTOS: Are you in favor of much stricter penalties?
SCHILLING: I'm in favor of allowing the current system to continue to work and where loopholes are found, those loopholes be fixed. I think the testing is doing what it's aimed to do, which is reduce the usage of steroids -- the usage of steroids by players.
LANTOS: Mr. Palmeiro.
PALMEIRO: I'm in favor -- I'm in favor of eliminating the problem completely.
LANTOS: Well, obviously, the Olympics are internationally recognized, as it has been referred to, is the gold standard. If, in fact, that is the gold standard, would you favor applying it to baseball?
PALMEIRO: I would play under any type of deal that would clean our sport and that would make it a playing level field for everyone.
LANTOS: Thank you.
MCGWIRE: Well, being that I'm retired...
LANTOS: I know, but...
MCGWIRE: I think anything that Major League Baseball can do to get rid of this problem and do a positive, positive, put a positive light on this for our children of our future, I think it would be great.
LANTOS: Mr. Sosa.
SOSA: Yes, I am favor to the...
LANTOS: Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: Well, I truly believe I'm definitely in favor of it, but I think you have to monitor whoever is issuing this test.
LANTOS: The second question I have is, are you in favor of independent testing? Because one of the issues that emerged is that, unless all testing is done by a totally independent entity, which has nothing to do with the owners, the players, it stands by itself.
Would you favor that, Mr. Schilling? SCHILLING: Yes.
LANTOS: Mr. Palmeiro.
PALMEIRO: Yes, sir.
LANTOS: Mr. McGwire.
MCGWIRE: I think it would be outstanding.
LANTOS: Mr. Sosa.
SOSA: Yes, sir.
LANTOS: Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: It is going to be the only way you're going to solve this.
LANTOS: Fine question. On the assumption that, within a reasonable period of time, the industry doesn't clean up its own act, are you in favor of federal legislation?
SCHILLING: Yes. Yes.
LANTOS: Thank you.
PALMEIRO: I agree. I agree.
MCGWIRE: If that's what it takes, yes.
SOSA: Pretty much, yes.
LANTOS: Thank you very much.
DAVIS: Thank you very much.
REP. MARK SOUDER (R), INDIANA: My first question is to Mr. Schilling,
And my belief is, is that all we've seen is sampling, and it's not adequate. It's not independent. And it's so full of holes on ephedra and everything that, if it was cheese, it would definitely be Swiss cheese. So, clearly, the policy needs to be fixed and I'm disappointed you don't seem to share that view.
But you said earlier, as I understood it, that we went from 5 to 7 percent positive, down to 1.7, and that's progress. I thought I also heard you say that it would be inevitably and the people -- this would be public. I haven't heard 5 to 7 percent of the players named as using steroids. I haven't even heard 1.7 percent. Where is the public part?
SCHILLING: Well, my understanding is that, with this new -- after the agreement put in place, renegotiated this past couple months, those are instituted now. Those previous results are from the last two seasons.
The 5 to 7 percent was the number that needed to be met for the testing to be put into effect, the different method of testing, which was put into effect last year.
SOUDER: Under the previous policy, was anyone suspended for steroids?
SCHILLING: I can't answer that.
SOUDER: We'll ask the -- baseball.
I also wanted to say that the simple way to solve this is the way that Mr. Sosa, Mr. Palmeiro and, you, Mr. Schilling, and Mr. Thomas have said: I'm clean. I've been clean. I've taken the test and I passed the test. This is pretty simple. And the American people are figuring out who is willing to say that and who isn't.
And, as far as this being about the past, that's what we do. This is an oversight committee. 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 when we were doing investigations on the Travel Office, on Whitewater, if President Nixon had said about Watergate when Congress was investigating Watergate, we don't talk about the past, how in the world are we supposed to pass legislation when you're a protected monopoly and all your salaries are paid because you're 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? I want to praise those people who have come forward and have been in awkward situations before because of peer pressure and said, look, I'm clean, but I'm really disappointed because we have to talk about the past, because there isn't any way to address this.
And unless there are independent entities doing this, I don't believe that this is going to pass the laugh test. I believe we have advanced some today, but we've also gone backward some today. And this last panel with the management and Players Association is going to be very critical.
Yield back the balance of my time.
DAVIS: Thank you.
REP. MAJOR OWENS (D), NEW YORK: I don't want to repeat what my colleague asked before. I just want a clarification.
He said that if the industry cannot clean this up, are you in favor of federal legislation? And I think most of you gave a positive answer. I want to go one step further and say, baseball is an industry. It is a business. It's our favorite pastime and whatever else. But it also is an industry and a business. And, in most instances, we have failed in attempts to have business self-regulate themselves. There are a few successes, but very few.
Do you think it is possible that self-regulation will solve this problem?
SCHILLING: Yes, absolutely.
OWENS: You think it is possible?
SCHILLING: I absolutely think it is.
PALMEIRO: I think it is possible, too.
MCGWIRE: Me, too.
SOSA: Yes, I think it's possible, too. If we work together, yes.
OWENS: Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: My honest opinion, not completely, but because we have brought this to light, it is going to come very close.
OWENS: Thank you.
DAVIS: Thank you very much.
Mr. McHenry, any questions?
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you all for coming here today.
I know that it's not an easy situation for any of you. I certainly appreciate the fact that, as individuals, you don't like the idea of having to come before Congress and swear an oath. I certainly understand that and certainly respect your right to privacy as individuals.
Our hearings today are not about you as individuals. A lot has been made of a book written. A lot has been made of statements that have been made, but it's not about you as individuals. It is the overall societal problem. And you mentioned, you all mentioned what these families that testified earlier, the impact it had on you as individuals.
But that's a message that your sport, you and your colleagues are sending, in many ways. And so, I have a simple question. And you can answer yes or no or choose to not answer. That's certainly your right. Is using, are using steroids, the use of steroids, is that cheating?
PALMEIRO: I believe it is.
MCGWIRE: That's not for me to determine.
MCHENRY: For you, is it cheating, yes or no?
MCGWIRE: That's not for me to determine.
MCHENRY: Mr. Sosa.
SOSA: I think so.
CANSECO: I think so. And, in many ways, I think it also cheats the individual who uses it, because eventually, if found out or if come to the forefront, they have to go through this, absolutely.
MCHENRY: My follow-up question is to Mr. McGwire.
You said that you would like to be a spokesman on this issue. What is your message?
MCGWIRE: My message is that steroids is bad. Don't do them. It's a bad message. And I am here because of that. And I want to tell everybody that I will do everything I can, if you allow me, to turn this into a positive. There's so much negativity said out here. We need to start talking about positive things here.
MCHENRY: How do you know they're bad?
MCGWIRE: Pardon me?
MCHENRY: Your message is -- coming from professional baseball, would you say that perhaps you have known people that have taken steroids and that you've seen the ill effects on that, or would your message be that you have seen the direct effects of steroids?
DAVIS: You know, let me just note here that House Rule 11 protects witnesses and the public from the disclosure of defamatory, degrading or incriminating testimony in open session. And the House rules on this point are both clear and strict.
I think the testimony -- if the testimony tends to defame, degrade or incriminate, the committee cannot proceed in open session. And we want to proceed in open session today.
So, with that in mind, you can choose to answer that or not, Mr. McGwire.
MCHENRY: Well, Mr. Chairman, respectfully, my question is just about the message that he would carry to the people.
DAVIS: I understand. I just wanted to give...
MCGWIRE: I've accepted, by my attorney's advice, not to comment on this issue.
If you'll go down the line again, I'll ask another question that everyone can ask answer simply and directly, I would hope. If it's proven that a player has set records while using steroids, should those records stand?
CANSECO: It's impossible to measure, I would guess, what one steroid does to one player and another player. There is no guideline to trying to say, well, if he hit 60 or 70 home runs because he was on steroids, we're going to take away 20 or 25 percent of his home runs. It's impossible.
MCHENRY: Mr. Sosa.
SOSA: It's not up to me.
MCGWIRE: It's not up to me to determine that.
PALMEIRO: I believe that's up to the commissioner.
SCHILLING: Absolutely not.
MCHENRY: Thank you for your frank answers.
And, as members of the Players Union, which you all are or were, your representatives sat down and negotiated on your behalf about the steroid policy. And part of what we'll hear from the commissioner, I'm sure, and your union representative is the facts, well, from your union representative, that he was empowered to negotiate in certain directions.
Did you support the old policy, the old policy on steroids? Did you empower your union representative? What was your stance on the issue of steroids within your union votes as members of the union? Did you support a more stringent policy or did you ask your union representative to limit the policy when it comes to steroids?
We can start...
SCHILLING: No, I didn't support the old policy. And, as a team, the Diamondbacks made it very clear we didn't support the old policy, to the point where we spoke about not taking the tests ourselves to force a failed result to increase the toughness of the policy. And I think that that's exactly what happened.
(CROSSTALK) PALMEIRO: Well, since there was a new policy in place and it was the first time that we were tested, I was in favor of it. Now, I was aware that we needed to take bigger steps and more steps. And I think that we need to give a chance to this new policy. And if we do need to take more steps, I'm in favor of that also.
MCGWIRE: I've been retired.
MCHENRY: But when you were a member of the Players Union?
MCGWIRE: There was no policy.
MCHENRY: And you -- well.
DAVIS: The gentleman's time has expired. We'll allow the previous question to be answered.
Mr. Sosa, if you want to answer.
SOSA: I really -- I don't have the specific question to explain it to you.
DAVIS: Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: The policy was never an issue when I was there.
I think the only players that may have been privy to it briefly were members of the Players association. In other words, each organization had a representative that would go and represent that team. So, as -- beyond that, no policy was ever mentioned or really talked about.
MCHENRY: Thank you, all.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. Towns.
REP. EDOLPHUS TOWNS (D), NEW YORK: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
You know, looking back over the rules and the recommendations that have been made, I think that we are overlooking the fact that we can't only hold the players accountable. But all wrongdoers, including management, trainers, front office and all should be involved in this, if we really want to clean up the situation we now find ourselves in.
Let me just go down the line, starting with you, Mr. Schilling.
Do you consider yourself a role model?
TOWNS: With that in mind, do you think that maybe posting something in a locker room might remind a person that they should not consider using, being you're saying the kind of damage that takes place if a person uses steroids.
For instance, you know, in locker rooms, sometimes, they put up what smoking will do to you and things like that. Do you think this would serve as a deterrent in any way? I am just trying to figure out what we might be able to do if it is a widespread kind of thing. Do you think that -- sort of scare tactics to players...
SCHILLING: No, I don't.
PALMEIRO: I'm not sure.
MCGWIRE: I can't answer that.
SOSA: I don't think so. I'm not sure.
I think bringing this issue to light is going to be a major deterrent. Players will be talking about this on a daily bases and they will be aware that there will be a lot of eyes on them, especially Congress.
TOWNS: See, my concern is the young people, the high school ballplayers and the people playing that -- I just wondered if this kind of technique might not -- you know, the scared-straight kind of thing, to sort of show them that, if you use, you could end up looking like this at the end of the day.
You know, that's the reason why I was thinking about that for high school players, more than professionals, because my concern is that, at that level, they might begin to really use it. And that's a real concern. So, what can we do with high schoolers? Any thoughts on that? Any suggestions? Because that's the area that I really think we need to focus on a great deal.
PALMEIRO: I believe that we can go around to high schools around the country, use our names, use our -- who we are to send the right message, to send the message that steroids are wrong and they're costing lives every day. SCHILLING: I think you need to -- again, I don't think a PSA is going to do it. I think there needs to be some form of drug testing to -- and there needs to be ramifications to failing a drug test, be it in high school or in college, because until you have to pay a price, I don't think there is going to be a lot of thought from a 16- year-old about the consequences of using.
TOWNS: If a trainer has information about the fact that somebody is using, you know, what should that trainer do? I'm thinking in terms of, in colleges, that if you see someone cheating and if you don't tell, they put you out, too.
You know, so, I'm thinking about the fact that, if you have a trainer that's very much aware of the fact that illegal actions are taking place and nobody is doing anything about it, he doesn't do anything about it, should anything happen to that person?
Right down the line, yes or no.
SCHILLING: I'm not sure -- I'm not sure I got the question.
TOWNS: The question is that you have a trainer who might be aware of the fact that somebody is using steroids. And, so, he knows it, but he just walks around every day and doesn't tell anybody about the fact that this is going on.
SCHILLING: Might be aware or definitely know? I mean, I don't -- he might be aware that there is someone using?
TOWNS: Yes, might be -- has information that somebody is using and does nothing about it.
SCHILLING: Well, I think, unless you have a verifiable fact, I think you're treading on some dangerous ground. I think we're here because of some people that -- loose tongue and said things that I don't believe are entirely true. And I think it causes a lot more problems than it solves.
TOWNS: All right.
PALMEIRO: I think that, if the trainer knows for sure, it's his responsibility to make the player aware and educate the player.
MCGWIRE: Yes, I agree with Raffy. I think that would be a great step. Exactly.
TOWNS: Mr. Sosa?
SOSA: I agree. I agree with Raffy. I think it is probably the trainer also on people (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
TOWNS: Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: I definitely believe and know that they are under the same circumstance of some Major League players are under, meaning, if they come to the forefront and speak about it, Major League Baseball will do something to them, in the sense of maybe blackballing him from the game or cause him a lot of problems.
TOWNS: In other words, there should be some penalties, if the trainer does not report it, that he should be penalized?
CANSECO: It's a very delicate position he's in.
The example I can give you is, let's say one player knows of another player using steroids, but this player is still active, or one player wants to come to the forefront, but he's still active in Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball is very, very powerful. And if you act against them or speak out against them, it can cost you your livelihood, definitely.
DAVIS: The gentleman's -- gentleman's time has expired.
TOWNS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
VIRGINIA FOXX (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Candice Miller asked one of the questions that I wanted to ask about whether -- if the policy were in effect years ago, would it have made a difference?
But I want to ask another question. And that is, why do you think -- and I'll ask each player this -- why has it taken so long for the league to act on this, since it seems to have been so wide -- that it was so well-known that abuse was going on? Why has it take taken the league so long to act?
CANSECO: Basically, something like a book written about the problems in Major League Baseball had to be done, absolutely. I think it definitely triggered a lot of events.
I think it finally made Major League Baseball aware of that, you know, or in the sense of stopped covering up what was really going on.
SOSA: I don't really know. I'm not sure.
MCGWIRE: Can you say question one more time?
FOXX: Why has it taken so long for the league to act, for professional baseball to act on this issue? There's a policy in effect now. I think it's a very weak policy, but why has it taken so long to institute any policy?
MCGWIRE: I don't know. But this is a great reason why we're here today, to try to fix it.
PALMEIRO: Ma'am, I'm not sure. I'm not sure why it's taken so long. You may have to ask the commissioner and Donald Fehr, the Players Association leader. SCHILLING: I don't know that it's taken -- there was a policy in place before the book came out. The only thing that has happened, I think, in the last six months is that the policy has changed and gotten, in some ways, stronger.
DAVIS: It's weaker than minor league policy.
FOXX: Thank you.
DAVIS: Thank you.
The policy is weaker than the minor league testing at this point. And minor leagues had it way before. And I think one of the concerns is, among professional sports, baseball has been a little bit late coming to the table and maybe a little bit short of where some of the other standards are. That's one of the concerns. Obviously, we'll see how this is implemented. There's active testing going on now. But there is a concern, as you could hear from us.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. You're watching continuing coverage of the hearings on Capitol Hill involving baseball and the use of steroids. Members of this congressional committee are grilling current and former baseball players.
WOLF BLITZER REPORTS goes back to Capitol Hill right now with continuing live coverage.
TOM DAVIS (R-VA), CHAIRMAN: There's still a lot of concern, not that it's just late but not as complete as we hoped it would be, but your speaking here is just very helpful to them. Next is -- I think Mr. Kanjorski was next.
REP. PAUL KANJORSKI (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Canseco, can you tell us -- I assume in your book -- I didn't read your book, but I assume that you confessed to taking steroids. Is that correct?
JOSE CANSECO, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: I think -- yes, in the past, I have, yes.
KANJORSKI: Well, can you tell us -- what we're trying to get here, one of the reasons I objected to the use of subpoenas at that -- at this hearing was it highlighted just baseball, just superstars in baseball.
And I've been listening to the examination now, and I'm getting the indication that we want to clean up baseball at the highest level and not looking at the broad application. I want to get to motive. Why did you use steroids?
CANSECO: Well, there are many reasons. There's a chapter in my book where my mom passed away, and I was called in from California -- I was playing pay (ph) ball that year. And when I flew home, she was in the hospital and brain-dead from an aneurysm. And I -- she never had seen me play minor leagues in general, and I promised her I was going to be the best athlete in the world, no matter what it took.
I definitely got caught up in the whole...
KANJORSKI: Would it be fair to say that you did it because the motivation was to build your body to be more competitive and ultimately make more money?
CANSECO: I don't even -- I don't even think the money was an issue at that time. I think just becoming, you know, the best athlete I could possibly become.
KANJORSKI: Have you given a lot of thought that if we had the best damn testing system that baseball could possibly imagined, what type of implication or ramification would that have for all of those hundreds of thousands of high school athletes that we're trying to establish some help for? Shouldn't we be looking at what we can do for them?
And now my next question is, since you obviously favor testing for super athletes, would you favor a universal testing of the highest standard, the Olympic standard, for all athletics, regardless of where they are, and regardless of what level of schooling that they're in, and regardless of what sex is involved, whether it's male, female, or otherwise?
CANSECO: I truly believe that the major league level, everyone knew that there was no steroids at all and a competitive balance was even, it will trickle down to the minor league level, the high school level and beyond.
KANJORSKI: Well, but is it your idea that we can't do anything about steroids then?
CANSECO: No, we definitely can. I'm saying that's...
KANJORSKI: Would it require we have a universal test with all athletes? Because you know, some kid that's 16 years old is looking up not only to you. He's looking at football players. He's looking at tennis players. He's looking at wrestlers. And probably, he's not doing it for some narcissistic reasons, but probably for accomplishment and success.
CANSECO: I agree, but if you just regulate it at, let's say, the minor league level and then the college level and high school level and don't regulate it at the major league level...
KANJORSKI: I'm not suggesting not doing it at the major league level. I'm saying a universal test for everybody that's in athletics.
CANSECO: From major league on down.
CANSECO: Absolutely, yes.
KANJORSKI: You would be in favor of that? CANSECO: Yes.
KANJORSKI: Do you have any idea how pervasive steroids are used, particularly in our younger population, in college and high school? Do you have any feeling as a result of being the center of this controversy?
CANSECO: If it's any proportion to at the major league level at the peak of steroid use, I would say very high.
KANJORSKI: Do you have any percentages or fractions?
CANSECO: No, I don't, not beyond the major league level, no, I don't.
KANJORSKI: Fair enough. Well, carrying that on now, I'm going to give you an analogy that's, I think, bothered me, and I don't expect that anybody would have an answer.
Supposedly somebody came out with smart pills and that smart pill could make you 10 times smarter than you are right now. And they may put a warning on there, it could cost you five or 10 years of your life expectancy. How many people would be tempted to try and win a Nobel Prize and take that smart pill?
CANSECO: You know, that's a very tough question, because we don't know if we're going to be around tomorrow or not. We don't know if our futures are guaranteed or not, but the smart pill guarantees something, meaning that you're going to win a Nobel Prize. It's a tough question to ask. I really don't even...
KANJORSKI: It's trying to get to the point, look, there's a motivation of why athletes, who have a high appreciation of their body, they're making a judgment of risking something. So what I'm saying it's somewhat of an intelligent question that they raise.
I mean, I assume all of you fellows would have had -- particularly you, I won't address it to the others, you had an idea it could be dangerous to your body, didn't you?
DAVIS: Your time has expired. If you'd like to answer, you may.
CANSECO: I think as athletes have become more educated, yes, they're starting to realize that with more and more information that the dangers are greater and greater.
DAVIS: Thank you. Mr. Goodnick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This has been one of the most fascinating hearings I have ever participated in, and I've been in Congress now 10 years. I'm like a lot of folks up here on this side of the panel. I grew up listening to baseball games on WHO Radio, listening to the Minnesota Twins, and my idols were people like Harmon Killebrew and Earl Batty (ph) and Richie Rollins, and I remember those games just like it was yesterday.
And when I started thinking about this issue and as this issue has sort of, you know, bubbled up over the last several years, my first reaction is how unfair this is to people like Harmon Killebrew. You wonder how many he might have hit if he'd have been able to use chemicals, or particularly Hank Aaron.
You know, and in some respects it sort of cheats the game and it cheats history and it cheats things like that. I think about baseball, especially because I growing up watching Roger Maris hit 61 home runs and remembering that for years and perhaps even today there's an asterisk after his name.
And knowing that, for example, in Little Leagues now and even in softball leagues we use aluminum bats, but we don't do that in baseball, not in the major leagues and not even in the minor leagues. And the reason is we take those records so seriously. I mean, they're almost a part of history.
We all know where we were when Roger Maris hit that 61st home run, and we remember some of those things.
And so, in many respects, when I thought about this hearing, first I thought about some of the greats of the game. One of my favorite expressions is with all kinds of issues we deal with here in Washington is that it shouldn't take an act of Congress, but I'd like to, all of you, perhaps respond to that question: can baseball heal itself? Or is it going to take an act of Congress to force them to come to grips with -- with this problem?
And hopefully begin to spread the message down to the minor leagues and to the colleges and high schools, and ultimately to the little leagues that this is a bad idea and it's the wrong way to go, and it cheats you, it cheats the game and it cheats the history of baseball.
Is it going to take an act of Congress? Mr. Schilling?
SCHILLING: I don't think so. I -- as a member of the players union and as a former players' representative, I believe, and I've always believed that the 90-plus percentile of players that test clean want to make sure the ones that don't are found out.
And I think that, given what I've heard from the commissioner and from the people and player representatives, that's going to happen now. And I think the fear of public embarrassment and humiliation upon being caught is going to be greater than any player ever imagined.
PALMEIRO: I don't believe it will take an act of Congress. I believe that our game will get straightened out and I believe that it will get cleaned up. We just need to give this policy a chance. And like I said before, if we need to enhance it, let's do it.
MCGWIRE: I don't know, being that I'm retired, but whatever it's going to take to put more of a positive light on this situation to detract the young people of today away from this stuff, I'm all for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it can heal itself. If Major League Baseball takes us seriously, we can do so.
CANSECO: I got to be honest again, I don't believe it can, unless Congress steps in, because of the frugal testing programs that Major League Baseball has, it will just be a joke. It will be all this all over again, no bones about it.
And talking about baseball the way it's changed, baseball is evolving. The ballparks, the bats, the -- let's say there was no steroids invented today at all. The nutrition, the information on -- on food supplements out there are incredible.
Nonetheless, let's say 10, 15, 20 years from now we had a shortage of wood in the world, and we have to go to aluminum bats. So it's constantly evolving, moving forward, striving to become biggest, faster, stronger. We just have to find a way of doing it legally. That's it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I yield back.
DAVIS: Thank you very much. Mr. Sanders.
REP. BERNARD SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to thank you and the ranking member for calling this important hearing.
Mr. Chairman, this morning I was on a TV show, as I'm sure many members of this committee were, and I was asked by the interviewer whether I thought this committee was grandstanding, whether in fact we were using the fame of these outstanding athletes to get our names in the paper and so forth.
And I said I didn't think so, because I thought this was a hugely important issue impacting millions of young people. And that's what I believe. But I do want to say that I am overwhelmed by the kind of media attention this has gotten. I have counted dozens of TV cameras, and I think some of the American people wonder, is this all we do? Because this is what they see on television.
So I want to say to our media friends, that when some of us talk about the collapse of our healthcare system and millions of people not having any health insurance, come and join us. And we talk about the United States having the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world at a time when the rich are going richer, come on down.
Now maybe we may have to bring great baseball players to help us talk about childhood poverty. I don't know. I would hope not. I'd hope we could have some of the great experts and I would hope you would come. But to the American people, some of us are dealing with other issues, as well.
In terms of this issue, I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask our guests. I have heard a discrepancy of opinion about the seriousness of the problem. Mr. Canseco says it's rampant, everybody knows it, virtually -- lots of people are doing it. Mr. Schilling says he's not so sure. He doesn't think it is a terribly serious problem. And I think Mr. Palmeiro has agreed with Mr. Schilling.
So let me start off. And I know this is a hard one. Are we talking about one percent of players, to your judgment, doing it? Are we talking about five percent? Ten percent? Is Mr. Canseco the only player in the world to have done this? Mr. Schilling.
SCHILLING: No, I don't think he is the only player. I think he's a liar. I think that what he did was grossly overstate a situation to make himself not look as bad.
SANDERS: What would be your guess in terms of what's your situation?
SCHILLING: I took an oath. I swore to tell the truth here today. In 19 years in the big leagues, I have never seen a syringe other than one prescribed by a doctor to a player. I've never seen steroids.
SANDERS: But locker room gossip, you may not have seen it. People talk, right? This guy's doing something; that guy's doing something. I don't need names. What's your guess? You've heard people saying that somebody is doing it?
SCHILLING: Absolutely. There's discussions about other guys on other teams. I would say the percentage is on or around where it's been tested at. I don't think it's much higher.
I think it's -- I think it's -- again, I'm in a locker room. I've been with six different teams. I've played with over thousands of players. I'd guess that maybe five to 10 of my teammates the last 15 years were using, maybe.
SANDERS: Five in the last 15 years?
SCHILLING: Maybe. Five to 10 at most. I wouldn't know any more.
SANDERS: OK. Mr. Palmeiro, Mr. Schilling says he would guesstimate maybe five or 10 players in the many years he's been in the majors. What do you guess?
PALMEIRO: I wouldn't know. I couldn't take a guess. I just think as long as -- even one percent is too high. That's way too high. We need to make sure it's zero percent.
SANDERS: Mr. McGwire, would you like to speculate?
MCGWIRE: I wouldn't know, but there's a big reason why we're here today to talk about it.
SANDERS: Mr. Sosa, what's your guess?
SOSA: I wouldn't know. I really...
SANDERS: Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: I guess I'd say Mr. Schilling is correct about today's statistics on how many people are using steroids. Because we've made steroids aware. We've brought it out. This book came out, scared a lot of individuals. If they were using steroids when this book came out, they cold stopped, period.
SANDERS: So you're suggesting that it went from wide prevalence down to what Mr. Schilling is saying, almost nothing? Is that what you're saying?
CANSECO: Well, when I mentioned the 80 percent, I mentioned at the peak of steroid use. That may have been somewhere from '94 onto the year 2000. That's when I played. I've been retired for, I guess, three or four years now. It's been a long time. But because of certain incidents that have happened, definitely, it's definitely curtailed greatly, yes.
SANDERS: Let me ask the last question. I appreciate all of your efforts, and you're willing to stand up for the kids of America that you know you're role models. You know that steroids are bad and you want to do everything you can to prevent kids from emulating bad habits.
My question is this: if the major leagues does not come forth with an aggressive policy -- and I think what you're hearing today is we are not overly impressed by what the major leagues have done -- will you come back in a year from and say, "Members of Congress, we support you in passing federal legislation to tell the major leagues that they have got to be aggressive and pass strong and stringent requirements?"
In other words, will you come back and tell us to do that? Mr. Schilling?
SCHILLING: I'm not sure I can answer that. I mean, we are in support of a stronger system that eradicates the use of steroids by players.
SANDERS: But if the majors don't do anything, if the league doesn't do anything, are you going to come back if we ask you to come back?
SCHILLING: That's a hypothetical I don't believe is going to happen.
SANDERS: You sound like a politician.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Bernie, he's a Republican. You better not encourage him.
PALMEIRO: I'm going to agree with Curt. You know, I don't think it's going to happen, but, you know, if it doesn't...
SANDERS: You think the league is going to do the right thing?
PALMEIRO: I believe so, but if it doesn't, I would be more than happy to come back and address the problems again.
SANDERS: Mr. McGwire, will you come back and join us?
MCGWIRE: Well, I have no idea. Being a retired player, I have no idea what the policy is, but if you'd like me back, sure.
SANDERS: OK. Mr. Sosa?
SOSA: Yes, I believe that, you know, Major League Baseball is going to do something, no question. If you have to come back here, I'm happy to do it.
SANDERS: Thank you. Mr. Canseco?
CANSECO: I think it would be a major mistake to let the league do this itself, no ifs and buts about it. We'll be back here quicker than quick.
SANDERS: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
DAVIS: I'm sorry -- I promised Mr. Issa first. And then we'll go to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Schilling, I must say I came here intending on throwing softballs to all of you whenever possible, but listening, I've been a little disappointed that I'm sort of hearing a consistent pattern from you as a players' rep, that there isn't a problem, that we don't need to intervene.
So would it surprise you if I told you that I talked to multiple professional team owners, including baseball, and had an absolute positive please legislate a zero-tolerance?
SCHILLING: Would it surprise me? No.
ISSA: So that's a position you feel comfortable comes from the owners?
SCHILLING: Position being?
ISSA: That a zero-tolerance, go ahead and mandate it, that that doesn't surprise you that the owners feel that way?
SCHILLING: Not that they say it, no.
ISSA: OK. Well, I take people -- Mr. Schilling, I take people...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a pretty good politician, isn't he?
ISSA: Yes, he is. By the way, as to my colleague on the other side, talking about that pill to make us 10 times smarter, I think it could be mandated for Congress to save the nation. So I'm not sure that that wouldn't be one we would give ourselves a special exemption as we do so many other things.
The earlier panel, I asked every member, and they were medical and grieving parents, basically a question, and I'll set it up. If you use a -- the aluminum bat. If you were to sneak one into a game and use it, that would be cheating, wouldn't it?
And if you were to -- if you were a pitcher, you were to bring in a dull ball so that nobody could really hit a home run off of you, that would be cheating, wouldn't it?
Anyone disagree here?
So using an illegal drug to attempt to enhance the performance of a player would be cheating, wouldn't it? Anyone here disagree in any way, shape or form? And wouldn't you agree that Congress has a vested interest in ensuring that baseball does not have cheating going on?
Mr. Chairman, I've got all my questions answered.
DAVIS: Thank you very much. Mr. Kucinich.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee.
Some have used steroids, and with respect to baseball, it defies credibility that only the players know. We were holding players accountable here, but what about those who profited from a system of enhanced performance? Others knew, including the owners, which may explain why they owners may be congenial to some changes, so good for them.
What has not been investigated today or documented is the win at all costs mentality which has infected not only sport, but business, the media, and I might add, politics. Our steroids are called PACs and special-interest contributions.
This does not excuse anyone, but if we leave here today without looking at the larger questions of pressures to succeed, pressures to win, pressures to make money, pressures to be bigger, pressures to be better, win at all costs, at the cost of health, at the cost of reputation, at the cost of life, if we don't look at these larger questions of win at all costs, if we don't think about this, if we don't go deeper with our thinking here today, we'll be back here years from now, regardless of what these players so graciously commit to do.
We only need to go back to Mr. Waxman's initial testimony, his statement about how we've been here before. Now, I'd like to have the remaining time belong to the players who have said that they want to communicate with the young people of America. Take the opportunity now, because I think this is an important moment to do it.
What can you say right now, Mr. Schilling, to America's youth with respect to the youth of steroids, just in a half a minute to a minute.
SCHILLING: I think that...
KUCINICH: If you speak directly to the young people.
SCHILLING: I think to the youth of America, we've made it very clear that steroids is cheating, and winning without honor is not winning.
KUCINICH: Mr. Palmeiro?
PALMEIRO: I would have to say that I am the perfect example of someone that came from another country and took advantage of the situation that was given to me. I've worked very hard and I've dedicated my life to my sport.
KUCINICH: Mr. McGwire?
MCGWIRE: I would say that steroids are wrong. Do not take them. It gives you nothing but false hope. That's what I would say.
KUCINICH: Mr. Sosa, (speaking Spanish).
SOSA: Yes, sir, si. I would say pretty much hard work, believe in yourself, you know, grow up good and work hard, you know. Myself is an example, coming from the island, work hard, and make it to the majors. So that's the only thing that I can say to everybody up there. You know, believe in yourself.
KUCINICH: Mr. Canseco -- thank you. Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: I can speak to myself and say I made a mistake using steroids, no ifs and buts about it. I don't think any youngster using steroids.
KUCINICH: Speak to the young people.
CANSECO: Yes. I probably haven't slept in three or four days -- my attorney can verify this -- because of this issue. The first hearing about these children that took their lives, it's not worth it.
And I'm going to say this again, if Congress does nothing about this, Major League Baseball will not regulate themselves. The players association will not regulate these players. That I guarantee.
I've been a major league player for 17 years. Sure, the players association and the owners disagree on most things, but when it comes to making money, they're on the same page. KUCINICH: Well, and that's what I alluded to earlier. And I would -- I would suggest to the members of the committee that we can take these players at their word about their commitment.
Wherever they've been in the past -- as a matter of fact some who know the territory well may be the best spokespersons about a new direction. Even if you've not been in that territory, as some witnesses have said, you can also make a strong statement. People -- young people look up to you.
And so thank you for being here today. And I agree that we need to look forward, and we need to move forward. Thank you.
DAVIS: Thank you. Mr. Dent.
REP. CHARLES DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We're here for a variety of reasons today, because, one, this committee has oversight on federal drug policy. We're all concerned about our youth. I think we all can say that.
And the other -- the other constituency I think that has to be considered today are the taxpayers of this country. In my state, where we subsidize Major League Baseball, taxpayers do. Over $150 million went to support stadiums in the city of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. We subsidize that industry, which is treated like a monopoly because of the antitrust exemption your industry enjoys.
That said, here's my main question. In 1919, Major League Baseball went through the Black Sox scandal and the gambling issues that, I guess, created the commissioner's office in order to deal with that problem. And I believe that in 2005, we're about where -- that's about where baseball is now, 1919, 2005 is another seminal year for baseball.
And I guess my question is really this: do you believe that steroid use in baseball is as serious an issue for Major League Baseball as is the anti-gambling policy that Major League Baseball currently has imposed? Mr. Schilling, do you want to start?
SCHILLING: I think it's cheating. I think any form of cheating is -- I don't think there's any more serious than the next.
PALMEIRO: I agree. As long as there's positive tests, it's wrong, and we need to clean it up.
MCGWIRE: I don't know, but if it's a positive -- it's a positive move I'm all for it.
SOSA: I would say the same thing.
CANSECO: I didn't quite hear the question.
DENT: The question is was this issue, steroid abuse by ball players, as serious an issue as gambling or potential gambling by players? CANSECO: The steroid issue is much more serious, because it takes lives. You have to be very careful.
DENT: I get the sense you think it's as serious or more serious in your case, because I guess several years ago Pete Rose was banned for life from the game -- banned for life from the game of baseball because of a violation of gambling policy.
And I guess this is the second question. Why do you think Major League Baseball was so aggressive then in going after Mr. Rose on that issue, and seems to have been so much less aggressive on this steroid issue? Do you think it's because of money? What drives that? Start with you, Mr. Canseco.
CANSECO: I think it's simple when you really look at it. It didn't affect the game in the sense of this issue, steroids, I say affects their game. It's a completely different subject matter.
DENT: Mr. Sosa?
SOSA: I have no idea. I can't answer that.
PALMEIRO: Would you repeat the question?
DENT: Why do you think baseball is so much more aggressive about Pete Rose's gambling issue than it has been about this whole issue of steroid use which has been described by some as rampant?
PALMEIRO: I'm not sure. My guess would be that, you know, it is illegal to gamble, it's illegal to bet on baseball. It's always been that way. That's about all that I can say about that.
SCHILLING: I have no answer.
DENT: I'm curious what your perspective would be, because it was always clear to me. I thought that baseball players knew not to bet on games, particularly ones they're playing in, and there were serious sanctions for that kind of behavior.
It just -- I just get the sense from hearing what I've heard that Major League Baseball just doesn't take this issue nearly as seriously as it does the gambling issue.
And I commend Major League Baseball for what they did when they found the instance of gambling. I mean, they dealt with it decisively, as they should have. And I'm just trying to get a sense from players or former players why you think they're less aggressive on this. If anybody has anything to say, I'd be glad to hear it.
DAVIS: You might ask the next panel. They might have something.
DENT: I'm going to ask them that one, too. Don't worry. I thought I'd get a players' perspective on this one, but I understand your reluctance to want to answer that question. Thank you very much.
DAVIS: Mr. Davis. REP. DANNY K. DAVIS (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Representatives of the league have emphasized that the current policy -- that is, the current testing policy -- is a negotiated labor agreement, you know, that was negotiated. It's a collective bargaining agreement. And I have a great deal of respect for that.
But I guess the question becomes for me that, since the impact, the outcome, the results of what we're dealing with is far more reaching than just the players themselves in terms of their work situation and the owners themselves in terms of the work environment, how do we get the two -- Mr. Canseco, you emphasized consistently that you just don't believe that there is enough will within the industry itself -- that is, enough will among the owners and players -- to put together a serious policy that will -- will impact the situation to a level of satisfaction.
Is there any possibility that -- that the industry can, in fact, really police itself, that -- that would make it unnecessary for federal legislation to further regulate baseball and drug use, if you will, among players of the game? And so maybe we could just revisit that.
Is there, Mr. Schilling, any -- any real possibility of that happening?
SCHILLING: Absolutely. I think it's already happened. I think that what you've seen in the last couple months is a direct result of Senator McCain's anger over the original policy.
And I understand that, after yesterday, he's a little bit more perturbed than he might have been two days ago. But my understanding is -- and after having spoken to him, that we are taking steps. And I believe if you, as a body, are voicing your displeasure, which you have done, baseball will listen. I know that -- as a player, I know we've listened. We understand that there needs to be more stringent testing. There needs to be more stringent things done.
There are loopholes. I don't question for a second we'll close them to make sure, because, as a player, we want the playing field to be level.
D. DAVIS: Mr. Canseco, could you -- why are you so adamant that nothing will really happen unless Congress steps in?
CANSECO: I try to think about this in a positive way, and -- but if you really look at it and you look at the drug tests policies today, nothing has really been done.
I think we're looking at a drug testing policy that is not even down on paper yet. So, I mean, I'm hoping, just out of this, something happens, at least the public is aware, at least, you know, children, children's parents are aware what's really going on, and maybe they can help also. D. DAVIS: So, then, all of you actually are disagreeing with those who have suggested that there is no role in this activity for Congress to play, and that this committee and the Congress is overstepping its bounds?
SCHILLING: I don't think any of us said that.
D. DAVIS: No, I didn't say that any of you said it, but there are people who are suggesting it. And I'm trying to get a verification from you that you're in agreement with my side of it, which is that we're doing exactly what we ought to be doing.
SCHILLING: The media and Democrats, maybe, but no. We're...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We owe you guys one after Ms. Watson's thing. That was...
D. DAVIS: Absolutely.
D. DAVIS: Could we finish?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PALMEIRO: I believe that we are policing ourselves right now, and I believe that we will clean the game, because I believe that players, like Curt said, want a level playing field.
D. DAVIS: Mr. McGwire?
MCGWIRE: Whatever it takes.
D. DAVIS: Mr. Sosa?
SOSA: Yes, I believe they take it seriously, yes.
D. DAVIS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have no further questions.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: The gentleman has a little time yet. Would he yield to me?
D. DAVIS: Yes, I yield to Mr. Waxman.
WAXMAN: Why should we believe that the baseball commission and the baseball union will want to do something, when we have a 30-year record of them not responding to this problem?
Why should we believe it's all going to be done now, the way it should be done? Mr. Schilling, could you answer that question? Thirty years, they've done nothing, and even the proposal that you're vouching for is not in effect yet. It's only a draft, and it's filled with loopholes. And what you seem to be telling us is what baseball seems to be telling us: Trust us. Don't you think there's a reason not to trust them?
SCHILLING: What do you mean by 30 years of history?
WAXMAN: Well, 30 years ago, there was a committee hearing in Congress that looked at this problem. And Bowie Kuhn was the commissioner. And he assured the congressmen that they were going to do testing and they were going to stop steroids. That was 30 years ago.
There have been so many other incidents of reports in the last 10, 15 years of widespread steroid use. Nothing has happened from the baseball industry. And even now, when they put a testing program in place, it seems to be full of holes. Don't you think, at some point, even a Republican would say, as a Democrat would say, how long do we go along with this trust that something is going to be done when we don't see a very good record?
SCHILLING: I can't answer for the prior 30 years. I can answer to for my time in the game as a player. I think there's a huge contingent. Like I said, there's 98.3 percent of us that have tested clean, that are all for as stringent testing as we can get that's constitutional and fair. And...
WAXMAN: You accept the test and the results?
WAXMAN: OK. Thank you. My...
T. DAVIS: The gentleman's time has expired.
No questions. Let me move to Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.
REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLORIDA: Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
And I'm very honored to be here today. This is a very important issue, not just for the nation, but as all of the players have pointed out, what an important message it sends to the young people. And I'm glad to hear that everyone is saying the right thing.
And I just wanted to point out, the testimony given by two of my favorite athletes, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa, they're hometown favorites in our community in South Florida, as Rafael said. My parents and I came to the United States after fleeing communist tyranny that still reigns over my homeland of Cuba. We came seeking freedom, knowing that, through hard work, discipline, dedication, my family and I could build a bright future in America. And, as a matter of fact, when he was asked by the team owner to go to Cuba and play baseball diplomacy and do that with Castro, he said, not me. And we admire him for his courage, because we know that that was not an easy decision.
And I thank Chairman Davis for being open to the possibility of having Rafael belong to the -- be a member of the task force that they'll be putting together. He'll be a valuable addition, a person who says that his goal is to stamp out steroids out of the sport, and he would certainly add a lot to the debate. As all of us know, there are a high number of Hispanics playing baseball throughout the nation at all levels. And he would certainly be a leading role model for that.
And Sammy Sosa, what an outstanding athlete, growing up dirt-poor in the Dominican Republic, undergoing very difficult circumstances to get where he is today. And he says very strongly he supports testing professional athletes for illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
And we congratulate you, Sammy, for that stand.
And both these individuals do so much charity work, especially in our area of south Florida, and we congratulate them.
Felicidades. Muchas Gracias.
And Jose Canseco is a Miami boy, growing up just a few blocks from where I grew up, a graduate of Coral Park High School. And I'm pleased to have Jose say that he's devastated when he listens to the testimony that we heard today, and I know that he's heard it in the past, of parents of young people who have -- the young who have killed themselves as a result of steroid use.
And I hope that, as a proud graduate of Coral Park, the Rams, that, in a street that's named for him right there, Southwest 16th Street, that you go back to Coral Park, and you go back to my alma mater, Southwest, just a few blocks away, and talk to the young people about the dangers of steroid use. And your voice will be heard. And I encourage all of you to continue that battle. And I especially congratulate Rafael and Sammy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING SPANISH)
ROS-LEHTINEN: And I would like to yield my remaining time to Mr. Souder.
T. DAVIS: Mr. Souder.
REP. MARK SOUDER (R), INDIANA: I would just like to add for the record, as Major League Baseball and Congress work together in how you look at drug testing, in 1989, I was a staffer for then Senator Dan Coats, and we passed the first drug-testing legislation through the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act. And we looked at a high school in Indiana, the McCutcheon High School, where they drug-tested their kids because of several injuries on their baseball team. And one third had tested positive for marijuana. That led to it being sustained by the courts that, in any type of athletic or athletic-type event in any school in the country, they could drug-test it. Still, as to what other kinds of random tests, but the courts have also ruled for students that, when there is possible cause or something that a student does, then you can test and not have it be legally challenged.
For example, if you're tardy three days to school, you can be tested, because that may be a sign that you have been partying. In baseball, I would suggest there are other things, such as sudden dramatic changes in performance. Hey, if you're clean, it doesn't matter. Like Rafael Palmeiro said, if you're clean, hey, a drug test shouldn't be a problem.
Also, dramatic proving when you're aging, like Senator Bunning referred to. After a strike, when there's a financial incentive to alter the game, that would be a good time to have more drug testing than usual. Also, if a particular franchise in financial trouble, those are motivations that cause question to the game and drug testing should be accelerated, also including ephedra and other things in it.
So, there's lots of loopholes in the policy. And I hope the players are very serious, that you will talk to your player reps about doing logical testing, like we do for truck drivers, like we do in schools, not just in the Olympics, but across this nation.
I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you.
T. DAVIS: Thank you.
REP. WILLIAM LACY CLAY (D), MISSOURI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McGwire, I, along with all of Saint Louis and the country, watched with great excitement when you and Mr. Sosa chased and broke Maris' home run record. A stretch of Interstate 70 that runs through the heart of my district is named after you. In Saint Louis, Cardinal baseball has held a special place in the hearts of millions of fans for over 100 years, so naturally I'm very concerned about allegations of player misconduct that, if substantiated, could damage that proud tradition.
Mr. McGwire, we are both fathers of young children. Both my son and daughter love sports, and they look up to stars like you. Can we look at those children with a straight face and tell them that great players like you play the game with honesty and integrity?
MCGWIRE: Like I've said earlier, I'm not going to go into the past and talk about my past. I'm here to make a positive influence on this. CLAY: Mr. McGwire, you have already acknowledged that you used certain supplements, including Andro, as part of your training routine.
In addition to Andro, which was legal at the time that you used it, what other supplements did you use?
MCGWIRE: I'm not here to talk about the past.
CLAY: Mr. Chairman, let me finish with my time.
Mr. Canseco, how did steroids enhance your effort to hit the home run or your ability to hit the ball?
CANSECO: For me, I think, it was a little different, because I've also had a background of, since I was a child, coming home from baseball practice and bending over and falling to the ground paralyzed. I've had -- diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, arthritis. I've had four major back surgeries, elbow surgery.
So, for me, I was a separate, different case than anyone else, in the sense of, I truly believe, yes, it helped me. Yes, it helped my physical stature and my muscle density, helped me stand up straight. But I had so many other physical problems that -- that's why I said, if you're completely healthy, I would never, ever touch the stuff, never.
CLAY: Would you have been able to perform at that level that you did achieve without those, without steroids?
CANSECO: I'm an exception to the rule, because I had all these ailments. And I truly believe that, for myself -- and I'm just, you know, one in a billion in this sense -- it helped me because of my physicality, back problems...
CLAY: Thank you for your honesty.
Mr. McGwire, let me go back to you and ask you, would you have been able to have performed at that level without uses Andro?
MCGWIRE: I'm not going to talk about the post.
CLAY: OK, let me go on to Mr. Schilling then.
I commend you to speaking out against steroids, even before baseball implemented testing. Who benefits from having a weak drug- testing policy? SCHILLING: Nobody.
CLAY: Nobody benefits. Do clean athletes speak out often?
SCHILLING: I'm not sure I can answer that with any accuracy.
CLAY: And how do your colleagues receive your message when you do speak out? Do they look at you funny? Do you...
SCHILLING: I don't think I speak for -- I'm not trying to speak for everybody, but I think I speak for a majority of the players when I say that we all feel that, you know, stricter testing is not something we're against.
CLAY: OK. Thank you for that response.
Just in closing, Mr. McGwire, I wish you had taken this opportunity to actually answer some of these questions about your career, about the records that you established.
T. DAVIS: Thank you. The gentleman's time has expired.
CLAY: Thank you.
T. DAVIS: Mr. Shays.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, it's nice to have you here. This is an important hearing. It's about drugs and, frankly, modestly interested, until we saw the response of Major League Baseball, which I think has been outrageous. Some of your testimony has been very helpful. I want you to know that this committee had requested a Major League Baseball joint drug prevention and treatment program. We wanted a copy of it.
We asked for it. We wrote a letter, and then we had to subpoena it. Now, I would like to ask the three who are active baseball players, I would like to have you tell me what you think, or thought, until today, the policy was. And let me first say, we thought that it was the first positive test, 10-day suspension, second positive test, 30-day suspension, third positive test, 60-day suspension, fourth positive test, one-year suspension. And then, any subsequent positive test, you're out for life. That's what we thought it was.
I want to ask the three active players, starting with you, Mr. Sosa, if you thought that this -- that was the policy, or did you think it was what we now have learned, that you could also be fined up to $10 on the first offense, fined up to $25,000 on the second offense, fined up to $50,000 on the third offense, fined up to $100,000 on the fourth offense? Were you aware you could be given a fine, instead of suspension?
SOSA: No. PALMEIRO: I wasn't aware of it. I knew about the 10-day suspension for the first offense and your name being public and so on, but I wasn't aware of the fine.
SHAYS: I need an answer, so they can record it.
SCHILLING: No, I wasn't aware of it.
SHAYS: What does that tell you about Major League Baseball and the management, if we couldn't get this information voluntarily, we couldn't get it through a request by letter, after asking for it, and we had to subpoena this? Why would this document and why should this document have been prevented from coming to us? Would anyone care to answer that question?
Let me ask you another question. I hear the concept of team player. And, trust me, I don't care at this hearing -- I don't care to get into the issue of cheating or records. I don't care at this hearing to know if you took drugs or not. I don't care to have you name names. But what piqued my interest was the concept that, as a team player, I'm not going to name names.
I'd like to know the obligation that each of you think you have for your team to make sure you don't have drugs being used by teammates.
And let me start with you, Mr. Schilling.
SCHILLING: My obligation first is to the lord and then to my family, my family name, above any of my teammates that I've ever had.
SHAYS: OK. Well, what do you think the lord would want you to do?
SCHILLING: To be as truthful and honest as you could be and had to be.
SHAYS: Do you feel that means that you should confront your -- even privately, your colleagues that are using them, drugs?
SCHILLING: I think that varies with different people.
PALMEIRO: I'm not sure how I would handle that. I've never had that problem. You know, if it became a problem, I guess I would confront the player.
MCGWIRE: I agree. I've never had that problem, and being retired and out of the game, I couldn't even think about that.
SHAYS: Never had a problem of seeing your colleagues use drugs?
MCGWIRE: Pardon me?
SHAYS: Never had a problem of seeing your colleagues use drugs, steroids and so on? Is that what you mean? I don't know what you mean by, you never had that problem.
SHAYS: Let me just go to Mr. Canseco.
T. DAVIS: I think he's -- I think he's...
MCGWIRE: I'm not going to get into the past.
T. DAVIS: He's not getting into that.
SHAYS: OK, I'm not really asking about the past.
Mr. Sosa, what obligation do you think you have to your team if you are aware that someone is using drugs on your team?
SOSA: I'm a private person. I don't really go, you know, ask people whatever it is.
SHAYS: Well, I will just conclude by saying, I think I know your answer, sir.
It just seems to me that one of the messages you may be telling young people is that a team player -- it's an interesting concept of a team player, it seems to me. It seems to me, you do have an obligation.
T. DAVIS: The gentleman's time has expired.
REP. DIANE E. WATSON (D), CALIFORNIA: I want to thank everyone in front of us for being here in this most grueling session. Believe me, some of us feel very deeply for you.
My concern is this, when I read statistics like this. More than 500 high school students have tried steroids, nearly triple the number just 10 years ago, nearly 20 percent of eighth graders, nearly 30 percent of tenth graders, and more than 40 percent of 12th graders that were surveyed in 2004, they were using steroids and found them fairly easy and very easy to obtain.
So, I want to ask a question about, where does that come from? And I think it seems to be that drug use goes across all sports. And it's the sign of the times. It seems to be so acceptable today to take some kind of drug. I don't care what kind of sport you're using. And I guess we have to know that our youth are living in a different era when they do this as a matter of standard.
So, what I want to ask is, what happened to sportsmanship? I'm using that in the generic, sportsmanship. And why are drugs so accessible? And is it the money that drives this kind of practice? Does anyone want to talk about that?
I am highly concerned about our youth today. And, believe me, I know of what I'm talking about. I used to sit on a school board in Los Angeles. I was a school counselor, I chaired the Health Committee for 17 years. We fought along, with Representative Waxman, tobacco use. And that's why I held this up, too. I had a dual purpose. This is a man who used steroids and smoked cigars and was on the front of "Sports Illustrated."
I'm really disturbed by the messages we're sending to young people today. And, so, that's a general -- those are general questions. If you'd like to espouse on them, fine. If you don't, it's all right with me. But I just had to get it out.
T. DAVIS: Anybody want to say anything?
WATSON: OK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
T. DAVIS: All right. Thank you very much.
WATSON: I will yield.
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Canseco, I just want to start off by saying the testimony I'm hearing today from you at this hearing is much, much different than what I have read in your book. I have to say, it's a stark, stark change. I just want to remind you, at the end of your book, you stated, "What I'm hoping is that some more intelligent forward-looking voices will come out and urge baseball to embrace the potential of steroids and to fight for their place in the game and in our lives."
That's what you're selling here in this book. I don't know if there's a new book coming out with what you're saying today. But I've got to tell you, I'm a little surprised what I read and what you're saying. So, can you enlighten me a little bit? Because I'm a little bit surprised.
CANSECO: I think we have to put it in context. This book took, I think, over two years to write. And while maybe that may have been my opinion two years ago, it's not today, absolutely not.
I have spoken with people, seen certain things that steroids has done, and it's -- I've completely done, you know, a turnaround when it comes to that.
LYNCH: All right. We'll wait for the sequel.
Mr. Schilling, you actually live in my district. I want to say, in fairness to you, there's never been any allegation or any suspicion that you've ever had anything to do with any of this stuff. You're here for two reasons. That's what they tell me. One, you've been outspoken on this stuff and a voice for right in this case, and that you're well-respected among all the parties, the owners, the managers, the players, everyone.
I've got to tell you, though, I'm a little bit surprised that you still believe in self-regulation. And I'm looking -- I'm a former ironworker president, and I would negotiate for my guys and ladies. And then I would come back to them with the contract after I negotiated with the companies, and I would ask them to ratify it.
And Mr. Davis touched on this a little earlier. Did you folks ratify this contract? Because it's not signed by the Players Union.
LYNCH: It's not signed by management. It says it's a draft agreement. And I just wonder, did they ever come back and say, here's the drug policy. Here's the collective bargaining agreement, like I would do with my members. I would read it to them page by page and say, OK, now we're going to vote on this.
Did they do that?
SCHILLING: I don't think it's possible. I think the dynamics in which we negotiate are very different than when -- the ones which you negotiated. We have over 1,000 players spread around the world.
LYNCH: And the salaries are much different than ironworkers as well, I might add.
SCHILLING: Right. But we -- we -- we elect player representatives to negotiate, to represent us.
LYNCH: OK. So, they ratify on behalf of -- did that happen, though? Did...
SCHILLING: Yes. That always happens.
LYNCH: It always happens, even with the drug policy?
SCHILLING: I can't speak to that specifically, though. You're going to have to ask the panel following us exactly how that happened. But, as a player, I assume it did, yes, absolutely.
I just want to just talk about where -- where self-regulation has got us. You're allowed to leave in the middle of the urine test. There are a bunch of substances that are not included on the list. The players and the league have to agree on what's going to be banned. It says on the text of your agreement -- and that's what you -- that's what you negotiate, the text of the agreement -- that the first offense of steroid use, the players, according to the agreement, can pay $10,000 and keep it quiet.
They're not publicized for their violation. They can buy it off. For $10,000. And the average starting salary is over $2 million. So, it's not even a slap on the wrist. We have an escape clause here, where, if the government comes in and starts investigating your drug policy, it goes away. You just get rid of it. The parties agreed.
That's where self-regulation has got us. And I'm just -- I don't -- I'm not with you on that, I have to admit. I just don't think that baseball is capable. And I'm going to -- we're going to have a little chat with the next panel coming in. I just don't think that they have demonstrated good faith on their ability to be able to -- to be able to police this type of thing. But I want to thank you all for coming here today. Thank you.
T. DAVIS: The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Duncan, any questions?
REP. JOHN J. DUNCAN JR. (R), TENNESSEE: Very briefly, Mr. Chairman.
I heard Mr. Palmeiro say that he could live with a one-strike- you're-out, Olympic standard on the steroids. But then I had to go to other meetings. And Mr. Souder tells me that some of you defended the present Major League policy. After seeing all the interest, all the concern, after hearing all this testimony and seeing all these news reports about young people dying, and I saw a news report where a light heavyweight boxer who became a heavyweight boxer, this weekend, they had a report on the national news that his legs were amputated, all these horrible things.
Do any of you on the panel -- would anybody object to the Major League coming in or instituting a much, much tougher, stricter policy, whatever that might be, much tougher than it is now? Do any of you have an objection to or problems with something like that, even if it's not quite as strict as what Mr. Palmeiro said, an Olympic standard, but I mean, a much, much tougher policy? Anybody have any problems with that?
Objections to it, Mr. McGwire?
MCGWIRE: Well, I'm retired. But I'm telling you, whatever anybody can do to improve it, so there's no more meetings like this, I'm all for it. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everybody seconds that here on the panel.
DUNCAN: All right. I think everybody agrees, a much tougher standard is necessary.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
T. DAVIS: Thank you very much.
Mr. Van Hollen.
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank all of you for your testimony here today. And thank all of you also for your commitment to use your star power on going forward to send the message to our young people about the dangers of steroid use and the fact that it's just simply the wrong thing to do in baseball or any other sport.
One of my sons, one of my young sons, Mr. Sosa, wears -- wore your T-shirt to bed just about every night, couldn't get it off of him. And that's when you were with the Cubs. I'm from Maryland. Now that you're with the Baltimore Orioles, he's a real -- real fan, an even extra fan. So, all of you understand, I know, that you have a great responsibility, given the fact that you are heroes to so many young people, to convey the right messages. And I thank you for that.
A part of making that message, I think, also requires conveying to people an understanding of the scope of the problem, and that's why we're here today, is to try to get a handle on the scope of the problem and the best way to approach eliminating the problem.
And, in that regard, Mr. Schilling, I do have a question for you regarding your earlier statements regarding the extent of steroid use within baseball, because, as I understood your testimony, you said that steroid use in baseball is less than 2 percent. Is that right?
SCHILLING: That's the results of the testing from the last season, yes.
VAN HOLLEN: Right. And that's based on the league's current steroid testing policy.
VAN HOLLEN: Right.
VAN HOLLEN: But I think we've heard testimony today about the weakness in that policy. As I understand, it does not include testing in the off-season. Is that right?
SCHILLING: Yes. It's random.
VAN HOLLEN: OK. All right.
As I understand -- OK, it does not include, I understand, new designer steroids, like a recent steroid recently recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It did not include Andro, which is an anabolic steroid precursor that we understand players used. And it did not include human growth hormone which we also believe, from at least from news accounts, that players used.
And so I guess, given that information, are you confident that the 2 percent testing...
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