Friday, May 20, 2005


More Hill 'Roid Rage

The congressional steroid hearings continued Thursday. If my prior post gave the suggestion that this is a totally GOP-controlled runaway train, the Thursday farce showed Democrats brandishing their Big Government Busybodied outrage in full:

[House Government Reform Committee Ranking Democrat Henry] Waxman called the NBA's policy "simply inadequate." Rep. William Lacy Clay, a Missouri Democrat, called it "a joke." Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said the NBA's policy is "weaker than the NFL or MLB's." And Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, said: "It is, in my opinion, rather pathetic."
Still, Rep. Tom Davis, the committee chair, refused to be outdone in official blowhardness:

"Certainly, the NBA is not suffering under the same cloud of steroid-use suspicion that has been hovering over other professional sports." Davis said. "[But] how do we know for sure there's no steroid problem in the NBA if its testing policies are so weak?"

So, for the record, baseball starts a testing program -- resulting in several suspensions (albeit mainly at the minor league level) -- but Congress declares that it's not enough. The NBA, which has indicated very little problems in this area (yes, it has a few others), however has to prove its innocence, because, um, well, just because!

Oh, well, because, steroids must have been responsible for the Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers fight last year! Yep, that would be the above mentioned Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts: "I'm not saying it was caused by steroid use. I'm saying you don't know." Well, I'm not saying that Lynch's stupidity was caused by steroid use. I'm just saying you don't know.

That's the meme that has hung over all of these hearings. Congress "don't know" but is hell-bent on tossing out much revered American traditions like innocent-until-proven guilty. Ah, memories of the comic-book scares of the 1950's....

Meanwhile, momentum increased for the Davis-Waxman-McCain bill to adopt the "Olympic model" (two-year ban for first offense; lifetime for the second). OK, now, if I'm not mistaken, that would be the testing "model" that failed to catch
this lady.

Marion Jones wasn't caught because of the vaunted "Olympic model." She was caught (ahem, implicated) by being named in the BALCO investigation -- just like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi. In other words, this Olympic testing model has its own flaws. It was the good old American judicial system that shone a light on BALCO and steroids. Without it, Jones would likely have been home free, instead of being disgraced, facing the loss of her 2000 medals and possibly more legal problems.

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