MLB, union answers satisfy Waxman

WASHINGTON -- The House panel that had follow-up questions for baseball about its drug-testing program is satisfied with the sport's answers.

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent letters in June to commissioner Bud Selig and players' union head Donald Fehr, saying information in the Mitchell Report raised questions about their statements during a March 2005 hearing.

In the June letters, Waxman and Davis wrote 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."

During the 2005 hearing, Selig and Fehr praised the testing program, citing a decline in the use of illegal steroids but did not acknowledge that the program was not in force all year.

"Baseball and the players' union provided additional information that clarified the record, and I am satisfied with their response," Waxman said this week in a statement.

"The game has made important progress in its efforts to end the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and I hope that the league and the players will continue those efforts," he said.

The New York Times first reported Waxman's remarks in Wednesday's editions.

"We are pleased that the information we provided clarified the record, and we will continue to be vigilant in ending the use of performance-enhancing substances," Selig said in a statement.

Fehr told the newspaper in a statement "we remain committed to ensuring that baseball continues to have a comprehensive, effective and fair drug-testing program."

Three players were suspended in 2008 under the major league drug program, all for 50 games: San Francisco catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, Colorado catcher Humberto Cota and Florida pitcher Henry Owens.