Restoring Baseball's Reputation In the Wake of the Mitchell Report

05/25/2011 12:20 pm ET

Baseball, the great American pastime, has historically embodied our nation's hopes, dreams, values, and ideals. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines while some players destroy the integrity of this sport by engaging in the culture of cheating fostered by the use of performance-enhancing drugs--breaking both the law and the public's trust.

It is my hope that Major League Baseball will approach the findings of the Mitchell Report with the seriousness that is warranted, and I urge the baseball players and players' union to cooperate with MLB management to implement the recommendations set forward in this report. Furthermore, it is my hope that all of the players who have received awards for performances that were enhanced by the use of drugs will immediately return the awards to MLB. The first step in restoring the reputation of baseball is taking all necessary actions to show players and fans that cheating will no longer be tolerated.

The most devastating impact of steroid abuse has been on our nation's most valuable resource: our children. Young athletes, emulating their professional role models with the use of performance-enhancing drugs, have paid for this poor judgment with their lives. Our children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see, and we need to ensure that they make it to that future.

I am hopeful that MLB will implement all of the recommendations in the report as well as initiate its own investigation on amphetamine use. I will be closely monitoring the response to the Mitchell report, and I am prepared to proceed with a legislative response or recommend future oversight hearings if necessary. We must ensure that when our children trade baseball cards of their heroes, they are trading players who embody the characteristics inherent in good role models rather than trading players who succeed by cheating.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings is a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Co-Founder and Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Drug Policy

Read more news and blog posts on the Mitchell report on steroids in baseball here.