Selig in favor of independent testing

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If baseball commissioner Bud Selig was hurt by the claim in Sen. George Mitchell's report that Selig didn't respond quickly enough to the sport's steroid problem, it certainly didn't dissuade Selig from embracing almost every detail of Mitchell's report.

Selig indicated, in fact, that he plans to follow each and every one of Sen. Mitchell's detailed recommendations. That includes Mitchell's suggestion that the steroid program be administered independently. "I feel it is the right thing to do,'' Selig said. "I really don't care anymore.''

Selig said that even if a move toward independence improves the program only "from a perception standpoint,'' it was worth doing.

If baseball does make that change, that alteration would be applauded by steroid experts everywhere, including by Gary Wadler, chairman of the Prohibited List of the World Anti Doping Ageny and one of the world's foremost steroid authorities.

Said Wadler, "Major League Baseball and other professional sports ought to get out of the Anti-Doping business and [farm it out] to independent, accountable transparent agencies''

Wadler made the very same recommendation on March 17, 2005 before Congress, and was widely hailed for it. But now Wadler has Mitchell making a similar suggestion.

Like Mitchell, Wadler said he wouldn't expect the union to accept such a plan. But it sounds like Selig may game to go for it at some point, anyway.

Actually, Selig wasn't prepared to disagree with any of Mitchell's suggestions.

"This document should serve as a road map not only for us but for people who come after us,'' Selig said.

The commissioner added, "His report is a call to action. ... And I will act.''