In February — remember the good old days? — the House Energy, Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Bobby Rush, held a hearing on steroids in sports. The heads of every invited major sports or sports-entertainment organization testified, with the exception of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Vince McMahon, who said his lawyer was busy. “I am exceptionally and extremely disappointed,” said Rush, adding:
“Steroid abuse in pro wrestling is probably worse than in any professional sport or amateur sport…. The number of deaths in the professional wrestling ranks is startling to say the least. The tragedy of Chris Benoit has been well documented. I want to assure Mr. McMahon that this committee fully intends to deal with the illegal steroid abuse in professional wrestling. And we hope he will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Two weeks ago I asked Rush’s communications director, Toure Muhammad, for an update. There was no response. (Rush, incidentally, handed Barack Obama his only political defeat when Obama ran against him in 2000.)
Meanwhile, public filings by the two lobbyists representing WWE show that each estimated expenditures of less than $5,000 on behalf of their client in the third quarter of 2008.