Report: MLB players not likely to testify at congressional steroids hearing

Updated: December 20, 2007, 7:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Don't expect Roger Clemens to make his first on-camera statements about accusations of his steroid use before a Congressional hearing next month. Or any other player for that matter.

None of the 86 players mentioned in the Mitchell report released last week are expected to speak at a Jan. 15 hearing on steroids before the House Government Reform Committee, according to a published report.

We don't want to turn this into a circus. 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. George Mitchell's recommendations, and move on.

-- Rep. Tom Davis

"We don't want to turn this into a circus," Rep. Tom Davis told USA Today. "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 Senator George Mitchell's recommendations, and move on."

Davis reiterated those comments Thursday on the Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN radio, saying "no" to whether Clemens would come to Capitol Hill.

A few of the faces likely to grace Capitol Hill for January's hearings are Commissioner Bud Selig, MLB players union executive director Don Fehr, and Mitchell.

"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."

Davis cautioned players about testifying, pointing out that they would be under oath and could face perjury charges if they are caught lying.

While the NHL has not been officially invited to take part in the hearings, NHL sources in Washington have told the league they can expect to be included.

The NHL took part in hearings both during and after the lockout. The fact politicians aren't rushing to ensure that the NHL is front and center in this latest round of discussions suggests they believe the NHL's drug testing policy is either adequate or the league doesn't have a significant problem with performance enhancing substances or both.

The NHL did more than 3,000 tests during the first two years of its drug testing policy and there was just one positive test, that belonging to Sean Hill then of the New York Islanders. Hill, now with the Minnesota Wild, was suspended for 20 games.

ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside contributed to this report.