Source: Palmeiro named Tejada before panel
Rafael Palmeiro said a vitamin he received from Miguel Tejada might have caused the positive test for steroid use that led to the first baseman's suspension, an assertion his Baltimore Orioles teammate dismissed as implausible.
A source close to the House Government Reform Committee told the Washington Post on Thursday that the committee likely doesn't have enough evidence to charge Rafael Palmeiro with perjury related to his testimony before Congress in March.
"The investigation raises a lot of questions but we don't at present have enough facts [to bring him up on perjury charges]," the source said.
However, that doesn't mean that Palmeiro will be exonerated. The source said the committee will likely release the results of its investigation so the public can draw its own conclusions about whether Palmeiro knowingly took a performance-enhancing substance.
"What it will come down to is either Palmeiro knowingly took steroids or he did something [so] beyond stupidity that I don't know how to describe it," the source told the Post.
Palmeiro said he received vitamin B-12 from Tejada, a person familiar with Palmeiro's unsuccessful grievance hearing to overturn the suspension told The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the proceedings were secret.
Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie quickly denied that Tejada supplied steroids to Palmeiro.
"Miggy [Tejada] is cleared in any implication that he provided steroids to Palmeiro," Beattie said. "That was investigated by HHPAC [House Health Policy Advisory Committee], and just to be sure they tested the stuff that Miggy had. It was found to be the B-12. That cleared it. End of story."
Beattie said that Palmeiro would issue a statement denying that he accused Tejada of giving him a substance that may have caused a positive test. And according to ESPN The Magazine's Amy K. Nelson, Beattie said he does not expect Palmeiro to dress again for the team this season.
The Washington Post reported Thursday night that a substance given to MLB's governing body on steroids was tested three times and determined to be B-12. Tejada was cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Post.
"Right now I'm in shock," Tejada, a former American League MVP, said after Baltimore lost 7-6 to the New York Yankees on Thursday. "I've never given anybody steroids before. I've been checked out three times already, and I'm clean. I've been clean all my life."
Tejada said he gave Palmeiro the B-12 injection "a long time ago."
"It doesn't bother me because I'm not guilty. I've done nothing wrong. I just gave him B-12, and B-12 is legal," Tejada said. "You don't get caught for B-12."
Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is commonly found in foods such as fish, meat, poultry and dairy products.
Palmeiro has not publicly discussed details of his testimony, which came during an unsuccessful grievance filed by the players' association to overturn his 10-day suspension, which followed a positive test -- reportedly for stanozolol.
His lawyers, Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw LLP, issued a statement Thursday night saying they "are disturbed about the misleading reports being leaked by unnamed sources who claim knowledge of the investigation."
"Rafael Palmeiro has never implicated any player in the intentional use or distribution of steroids, or any other illegal substance, in any interview or testimony," the statement said.
According to the AP's source familiar with the investigation, Palmeiro listed the B-12 as a possible reason for the positive test but did not make any definitive accusation.
Before the game, Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo said that if the first baseman had named a teammate in trying to explain his steroid test, it probably would be best that Palmeiro not return to the team this year.
"If in fact that was true, then it probably would not be a good idea" for Palmeiro to return, Perlozzo said. "It's all speculation as far as I know."
Congressional investigators have been interviewing the Orioles following Palmeiro's 10-day suspension, which began Aug. 1. Palmeiro went 2-for-26 with one RBI after his return and was sent home by Baltimore on Sept. 5 for rehabilitation on his right knee and left ankle.
Arn Tellem, Palmeiro's agent, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. House Government Reform Committee spokesman Dave Marin declined comment.
Congressional investigators are looking into whether Palmeiro lied under oath when he appeared before the House Government Reform Committee in March and testified that he "never used steroids. Period."
Baseball has not said when the positive test occurred.
Palmeiro, who turns 41 on Saturday, is batting .266 with 18 homers and 60 RBI. He got his 3,000th hit on July 15, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers. Palmeiro's 569 homers rank him ninth on the career list.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.