WASHINGTON -- Congress wants to hear more from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and players' union head Donald Fehr about their 2005 testimony on steroids in the sport.
Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote letters to Selig and Fehr on Thursday, saying that information about drug testing in the Mitchell Report "raises questions about your assertions in the March 2005 hearing."
In the letters, Waxman and Davis write about "two pieces of new information about the MLB testing program that was in effect in 2004": "that the random testing program was suspended for a large part of the 2004 baseball season" and "that players may have been told of upcoming tests."
In the letter to Selig, the lawmakers say that at the 2005 hearing, "MLB claimed that the steroid testing program in place at the time was a success, citing the testing results from 2004. You described a 'dramatic' decline in the number of positive test results, crediting the program with 'a significant reduction in steroid use."
"Major League Baseball's testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2005 was completely accurate, and we will reply promptly to the committee's questions that were posed today," said Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president of labor relations.
In the letter to Fehr, the lawmakers write: "At that 2005 hearing, the MLBPA claimed that the steroid testing program in place at the time was a success, citing the testing results from 2004. You claimed that claimed that 'use of illegal steroids declined significantly' and that 'the data suggests convincingly that the 2004 program did work.' You also defended the integrity of the testing program, stating that 'no player knew when he was going to be tested."
Thursday's letters set out a list of questions about baseball's testing program and ask that Selig and Fehr provide answers no later than June 26.