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Lawyers on steroids

Legal Affairs is hosting a debate between two lawyers on the steroids issue. Paul Finkelman and Gary Roberts both have the credentials, and make sensible points. Here's a telling observation from Roberts, a chaired professor and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane:

The fascinating thing about this whole episode is that the one group of people who ought to be most adamant about cleaning up the game so that players don't have to take steroids and risk their health is the players, yet that is the one and only group that so far has impeded instituting an aggressive regime that will allow players to compete without having to take these drugs. If the players are dumb enough to stand in the way of getting steroids out of baseball, let 'em. They are the only ones to be big losers.

Assuming that there are serious health costs to taking steroids, Roberts' point suggests that ultimately, it is in the players' interest to police themselves. But reaching that point from the current impasse is not easy. Finkelman's suggestion that players caught twice should be banned for life is an example of a proposed reform which could impede agreement. (Hello, Mr. Selig). Accurate testing with effective but fair remedial measures would seem to be essential requirements for players to want to test themselves.