CONGRESS Steroid plan approved by committee
Another bill would create a U.S. Boxing Committee.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House committee Wednesday approved separate bills that would set minimum steroid-testing rules and penalties for professional sports, and create a U.S. Boxing Commission.
The Drug Free Sports Act, introduced in the wake of allegations of widespread steroid use in baseball, would set drug-testing policy for the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.
It calls for an athlete to be suspended half the season for the first offense, a full season for the second, and a lifetime ban for a third offense.
The boxing bill would license boxers, managers, promoters and sanctioning organizations, and impose uniform health and safety standards, establish a centralized medical registry and provide uniform ranking criteria and contractual guidelines.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the steroids legislation, 38-2, and the boxing legislation, 25-16.
Florida Republican Cliff Stearns, who introduced both bills, said they would "leave a legacy of integrity and good sportsmanship that our children will live under for years to come."
But some members questioned whether it was wise to get the federal government into regulating boxing, or any sport for that matter.
Rep. Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican, introduced a tongue-in-cheek amendment to the boxing bill to ban boxing in the United States.
He withdrew the amendment before a vote.
Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said Congress was overreaching on the issue.
"I understand there is pressure from a member of the other chamber," he said, referring to Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has long backed a boxing commission.
The steroids bill is the second one to be passed by a House committee this year.
Last month, the Government Reform Committee passed similar legislation sponsored by the committee's chairman, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va.