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Congress Hears from Major Sports Leaders About Doping

The heads of several major North American professional sports leagues and their players' union representatives were on Capitol Hill Wednesday as part of a continuing debate over steroid use in sports.

U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Chairman Cliff Stearns has introduced legislation which would have the U.S. Commerce Secretary oversee drug-testing rules for sports.

The bill calls for a mandatory two-year penalty for a first offense and a lifetime ban for the second positive test. Leagues that did not comply with the proposed rules could be fined at least five million dollars.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told the subcommittee that he wants to see stiffer penalties, including what was called the "three strikes and you're out" program.

Under Mr. Selig's proposed program, players would be banned for 50 games for a first positive result, 100 games for a second positive test and for life after three positive tests. Baseball Players' Union head Donald Fehr said that players believe the proposed legislation could violate their Constitutional rights.

The subcommittee also heard from representatives of The National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and the National ice Hockey League. National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Players' Union head Gene Upshaw are scheduled to testify on Thursday.

Some information for this report provided by AP.