Leaders fight problem of performance-enhancing drugs

WASHINGTON -- High-ranking officials from the four major
U.S. sports leagues, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the NCAA have
met with the White House and federal agencies to discuss working
together to fight the problem of performance-enhancing drugs in

The Washington Post first reported the two meetings, one in
March and one last week, on its Web site Monday night.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Major League Baseball president
and chief operating officer Robert A. DuPuy, NBA executive vice
president and general counsel Rick Buchanan and NHL vice president
and chief legal officer Bill Daly attended a meeting at the
headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration on March 12,
the newspaper reported.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Terry Madden and USOC
general counsel Jeff Gewirtz also attended, as did Mary Wilfert,
the assistant director of education outreach for the NCAA, and
Robert Kanaby, the executive director of the National Federation of
State High School Associations.

The purpose of the meetings was to determine how the sports
leagues and organizations can work more closely together and what
role the government can play as an investigator.

"This is an important next step in the fight against doping in
sport," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel told The Associated Press on
Monday night. "This is a collaborative effort designed to bring
more resources and expertise to the fight. This is a national issue
and we believe it is appropriate for these groups to work together
to help eradicate this problem."

The second meeting was held at the White House Office of
National Drug Control Policy.

Representatives from the Department of Justice and U.S. Customs
and Border Protection and from the four professional leagues'
players unions also attended the meetings.

"I give the leagues great credit for not only initiating this
discussion but also reaching out to the right people and agreeing
to sit down and have really frank and candid conversations," Scott
M. Burns, deputy director for state and local affairs at the White
House drug control office, told the Washington Post. "We had
representatives from the highest levels and key entities at the
table to deal with this."

Burns said the parties agreed to meet again, though he said the
date for the next meeting had not been set. "I hear more about HGH
and steroids and athletes than I do about crack cocaine," Burns
said. "It's important to America, so it's important to us. . . .
This is the first step in changing the way we look at this problem
in the United States."