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Five miles of I-70 named Mark McGwire Highway

ST. LOUIS -- A St. Louis congressman wants Mark McGwire's
name stripped off the stretch of highway that was named after Big
Mac following his 70-homer season in 1998.

"It would take an act by the state legislature, but I don't
think he deserves a name on the highway if he can't be forthcoming
about his involvement with this issue," U.S. Rep. William Lacy
Clay, a Missouri Democrat, told The Associated Press on Friday.

McGwire refused to tell the House Government Reform Committee on
Thursday whether he had used steroids. Clay is a member of that
panel.

Gov. Mel Carnahan signed legislation in 1999 officially naming a
five-mile stretch of Interstate-70, from the city's western edge to
the Illinois border, "Mark McGwire Highway."

The chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee said
McGwire's name will remain, as far as he's concerned.

"Mark McGwire was a hero of baseball in St. Louis," state Sen.
Jon Dolan said. "He remains so and must deal with the choices he's
made. But nothing he did would change my mind about what we do or
don't name highways."

Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas told the committee
Thursday they did not use illegal steroids. McGwire has previously
denied steroid use, but under oath repeatedly sidestepped questions
by saying he wouldn't discuss his past.

"It was disappointing because I didn't think he took the
opportunity to make clear to his fans and the rest of America that
he was not under the influence of steroids when he set those home
run records in 1998," Clay said. "He does not come clean. He's
not forthcoming. His fans and the public want to know, where do you
stand on this, Mark McGwire?"

Even Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who managed McGwire both
in Oakland and St. Louis, said he was surprised by McGwire's
testimony.

"He's made a statement where he's denied it, and I thought it
was a great time to make that same statement," La Russa said at
spring training. "I think he was kind of coached into saying this
one thing, 'I'm here about the future, not about the past.' I was
surprised he didn't repeat what he said earlier. I think it would
have helped his cause."