House committee considering several options

Updated: September 9, 2005, 12:39 PM ET news services

Rafael Palmeiro may not face a perjury investigation, but he's not off the hook with the government.

Rafael Palmeiro

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that the House Committee on Government Reform, which is investigating whether Palmeiro perjured himself when he denied taking steroids during his testimony before Congress on March 17, is uncertain whether there is enough evidence to refer the case to the Justice Department. However, the committee is considering several other options.

One scenario, officials familiar with the situation told the Sun, has the committee making the documents pertaining to Palmeiro's case public. The committee received the documents related to the first baseman's positive steroid test from Major League Baseball on Aug. 12. A document release could happen in the next two weeks and would allow the public to decide for itself about Palmeiro.

The documents include the results of Palmeiro's tests, the tests' dates and the record of secret proceedings before a three-member arbitration panel after Palmeiro appealed the results. The appeal was denied, and the documents would show how Palmeiro defended himself while not offering an explanation as to how the steroid entered his system.

The committee has also not ruled out sending the case to the Justice Deparment, which could bring a perjury charge against Palmeiro. But the Sun reported that that option is less likely than others because of the difficulty of proving Palmeiro had knowingly used the drug when he appeared before Congress.

Palmeiro said that he would never take a performance-enhancing substance intentionally after he tested positive for the steroid stanozolol. However, experts have said that is is unlikely stanozolol could have entered his system by accident. Palmeiro said he won't comment publicly on the matter until Congress finishes its review.

The Sun said the committee has taken a while to resolve the case because it wants to make a thorough review. It has also had to contend with recesses.