Baseball urged to drop tobacco, test for HGH

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 14, 2011

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Two House Democrats have asked Major League Baseball to start testing for human growth hormone and end the use of smokeless tobacco at the ballpark.

Reps. Henry Waxman (D, Calif.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D, N.J.) wrote Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball Players Assn. Executive Director Michael Weiner to urge them to address these two public health issues.

"These issues affect the integrity of the game, the health of your players and, most important, the health of teenagers who aspire to be like pro players," the congressmen stated in a Nov. 2 letter.

Baseball officials already test for HGH in the minor leagues. Minor league teams also have prohibited smokeless tobacco use in ballparks since 1993.

The American Medical Association is a member of the Knock Tobacco Out of the Park campaign, which also has urged Selig and the players association to ban the use of tobacco at games because of the harmful health risks associated with the habit. Other members of the campaign include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Assn. and the Partnership for Prevention.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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