WASHINGTON -- Former slugger Jose Canseco and several
players he has accused of joining him in abusing steroids have been invited to testify before a House committee.
"There's a cloud over baseball, and perhaps a public discussion of the issues, with witnesses testifying under oath, can provide a
glimpse of sunlight," said Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.
Robert Saunooke, Canseco's attorney, told Fox Sports Radio that his client would appear if given immunity.
"Jose has always said he's more than happy to do that, welcomes it, and has been hopeful that Major League Baseball and the player's association will start being more forthright in the revelations that he has made in the book," Saunooke said.
Davis and the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Henry Waxman of California, announced Thursday that they were inviting Canseco and
six other former or active players, including the New York Yankees' Jason Giambi and former St. Louis Cardinals star Mark McGwire, to testify at a March 17 hearing.
A spokeswoman for Waxman, who last week wrote Davis to urge hearings on baseball's response to the steroid scandal, said they don't know if the players will agree to attend. Commissioner Bud Selig also has been invited.
Those invited to testify have not been subpoenaed to do so. The committee does have subpoena power, but has not used it. Anyone who does appear at the hearing will have to testify under oath.
In Canseco's book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big," he admits using steroids and alleges that McGwire often injected the drugs with him. He also said he introduced steroids to former Rangers teammates, including Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles. Palmeiro and others named by Canseco have denied using the performance-enhancing drugs.
"Mr. Canseco insists his information is accurate," but Major League Baseball says it will not investigate the allegations, Waxman said. Hearings with Canseco, McGwire and others "would be an opportunity to find out what really happened and to get to the bottom of this growing scandal."
The Chronicle reported in December that Giambi
told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he had used steroids.
Major League Baseball and the players' association in January
agreed to a tougher steroid-testing program in the wake of
allegations that Giambi and San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds were steroid users. Bonds
also has denied knowingly taking the drugs.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.