Report: Players won't testify at hearing

Report: Players won't testify at hearing

According to a report in USA Today, there are no plans to summon any of the 86 players named in the Mitchell Report to the Jan. 15 hearing on performance-enhancing drugs in front of the House Government Reform Committee.

"We don't want to turn this into a circus," Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) told USA Today in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "We just want to know what Major League Baseball plans to do about their problems. We understand the collective bargaining agreement complicates matters, but we'd like to see if they agree with Sen. Mitchell's recommendations, and move on."

The committee has invited baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Don Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and former Sen. George Mitchell to testify at the hearing.

"If players believe they are wrongfully accused in the report," Davis told the paper, "they are welcome to volunteer and we'll take it under consideration. But as I understand it, all these players had a chance to cooperate (with Mitchell), and everyone declined to cooperate.

"So, to an extent, that's what they get."

The congressman also stated that if a player testifies in front of the committee, he will be under oath and could face criminal charges if caught lying.

"If they want to clear their name, this would be a chance," Davis said.

In the past week, two of the active players named in the Mitchell Report -- Andy Pettitte and Brian Roberts -- have admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.

Roger Clemens, arguably the biggest name in the Mitchell Report, has vehemently denied the allegations. His Houston-based attorney Rusty Hardin, released another statement late on Thursday.

"Roger Clemens did not take steroids, and anybody who says he did had better start looking for a hell of a good lawyer."

Randy Hendricks, Clemens' agent, did not respond when asked in an e-mail from USA Today whether Clemens plans to voluntarily appear in front of the House Government Reform Committee.