Congress grills MLB heads on steroid use in baseball

By Chris Clackum
NBC News

Congress told Major League Baseball Tuesday to clean up its act with regard to steroid use.

Baseball's Chief Executives went before a Congressional committee along with the author of the report that slammed the sport for its widespread steroid use.

Former Senator George Mitchell put a sense of urgency on his stinging report on steroid use by pointing out that tens of thousands of high school athletes are now using steroids and human growth hormone.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee responded with an ultimatum.

"Baseball needs to fix the problem, change the culture, alter how it does business with regards to steroids or and this is a promise, not a threat, Congress will do it for you," said Virginia Congressman Tom Davis.

Baseball executives were contrite.

"Baseball's problems with performance enhancing drugs was bigger than I realized," admitted Players Association executive director Donald Fehr.

Commissioner Bud Selig promised action.

"I want to make clear that I agree with the conclusions reached by Senator Mitchell in his report.

Both said recommendations in Mitchell's Report have already resulted in a dramatic drop of steroid use among professional baseball players.
More than 80 players are accused in Mitchell's report, with star pitcher Roger Clemens headlining the list.

He's scheduled to testify next month to the same committee along with former teammate Andy Pettitte.

The committee sent an overt warning about truthful testimony by calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether another star, Miguel Tejada, lied about his steroid use before a Congressional committee three tears ago.