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Selig Calls for Tougher Drug Testing

October 17, 2004|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

BOSTON — In the moments before the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox would continue an American League championship series that represents his game's signature rivalry, Commissioner Bud Selig stood in the rear of Fenway Park's press box.

"And what are we sitting here talking about?" he said with a sigh.

Surrounded by reporters on Saturday night, Selig addressed another round of steroid allegations brought against the game and its premier player, this time in a San Francisco Chronicle report that said Barry Bonds' former trainer had supplied the six-time most valuable player with performance-enhancing drugs.

Although Selig said he had not read the report and could not comment on its details, he again railed against his own sport's guidelines, negotiated with the players' union.

"All these things that happen are ... a manifestation of why we once and for all need a very tough, comprehensive steroid policy," he said. "And I believe we are inexorably moving toward that end. I would like to move quicker, but like a lot of things over the last 10 or 12 years, I don't quite know that timetable. But we have to do that, so we won't have to be having these type of conversations.

"Things have changed. Somebody asked me the other day, you agreed on Aug. 30, 2002, to this. But, like a lot of things in life, there have been a lot of intervening events that have changed things.... There's going to be more if we don't do something."

The Chronicle reported that in an interview secretly taped during the BALCO case, Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, said that he'd provided Bonds with an undetectable performance-enhancing drug during the 2003 season and that he'd expected to be tipped before baseball's drug tests were administered.

Stories of Bonds' alleged steroid use have received national attention as the San Francisco Giant slugger advances on baseball's career home-run record. He has 703, third to Hank Aaron's 755 and Babe Ruth's 714.

"The only thing I want to say about that, until there's proof there's something wrong, again, I'm not going to comment on it," Selig said. "I don't think that would be fair. All you have now is a series of allegations."

He added, "Does anybody want to talk about anything else?"

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