Congress passes The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004
NEW YORK - One day after the death of admitted steroid user Ken Caminiti, The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 has been passed by Congress.
Under the act, steroid precursors and substances such as androstenedione and 19-norandrosterone are added to the list of anabolic steroids classified as Schedule III controlled substances and subsequently banned by Major League Baseball. A steroid precursor produces testosterone when metabolized in the body.
"This important legislation will help us reach our goal of zero tolerance in the battle against steroids," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said. "With the passing of The Anabolic Steroid Control Act, steroid precursors will be deemed prohibited substances under Major League Baseball's joint drug program."
This legislation enables the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to regulate these types of products as anabolic steroids under the Controlled Substances Act.
"This will allow us to test for steroid precursors, just as we are currently testing for steroids, as part of our regular testing," Selig said.
A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act, providing increased penalties for anabolic steroid offenses near sports facilities, was put forth on March 1 and passed by the United States House of Representatives in June.
A growing problem in baseball and other sports, the speculation of steroid use has surfaced in the circles of the most elite major league players, including San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield of the New York Yankees and former major leaguer Mark McGwire, who admitted to using androstenedione in 1998, when he hit 70 home runs.
Caminiti, a 15-year major leaguer who died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 41 on Sunday, had admitted to using steroids during his MVP season in 1996, when he hit .326 with 40 homers and 130 RBIs for the San Diego Padres.
Baseball has been under fire since a federal probe into a California nutritional supplement lab resulted in the questioning of a number of prominent players. Bonds' personal weight trainer Greg Anderson was charged with taking part in a steroid distribution ring that provided the substances to professional athletes.
Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Victor Conte, lab vice president James Valente and track coach Remi Korchemny also were charged. All four have pleaded not guilty.
Bonds, Sheffield and Jason Giambi of the Yankees were among those to testify in the investigation.
Major League Baseball made drug testing a key component in the agreement it negotiated with the players in September 2002. The deal called for preliminary anonymous testing in 2003. After between 5-7 percent of the players tested positive, a more stringent, official testing procedure was put in place for this season.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index