03/09/2005 5:00 PM ET
MLB, MLBPA set to testify before House Committee
Letter sent to Committee leaders
In a letter addressed to Tom Davis, the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Governmental Reform, and Henry Waxman, the Committee's ranking member, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association said they are prepared to testify voluntarily at the Committee's hearing scheduled for March 17, 2005 and are willing to address the current and prospective application of Major League Baseball's new drug testing policy. Baseball officials expressed this willingness to appear despite serious legal concerns about the Committee's standing to hold a hearing.
The letter from attorney Stan Brand, writing on behalf of both Major League Baseball and the Players Association in this matter, states that the Committee lacks jurisdiction over the substance of this matter in that neither Major League Baseball nor the Players Association is a government entity subject to oversight by the Committee, and that the Committee's effort to obtain results of Baseball's testing program raises serious constitutional issues and improperly violates the confidentiality provisions of the program. Brand's letter also reports that the current and former players, except for Jose Canseco, will respectfully decline the invitations to testify.
Brand writes: "If, as professed, the Committee's real focus is on the future, what may or may not have transpired at a time when there was no policy becomes irrelevant and can only serve to obfuscate the professed goal."