the absurd observers

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Congress and steroids

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This seems like a somewhat novel use of the congressional power to subpoena. In essence, congress is taking something of national interest, in the sense that the nation is interested in it, and elevating it to the level of national interest in the sense that it is in the nation's interests to find out the truth. While such an approach may over-step the historical bounds of congressional authority, I, for one am thrilled to see it used in such a manner. While this scandal hardly rises to the level of Watergate or Iran/Contra, the potential danger for future abuse seems minimal. Since baseball had such a ridiculously lax steroid policy until recently, the only way to ensure the integrity of the game is to coerce testimony in some manner and thereby arrive at the truth. Only Congress and federal prosecutors have the power to coerce such testimony as part of an investigation. Since grand jury testimony is sealed (at least in theory), a Congressional hearing seems like the only feasible way to restore legitimacy to the game. Hopefully the threat of jail for false testimony will force the various athletes into telling the truth and we can finally know who was using what when they set their various records.

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