Congress withdraws subpoena after Knoblauch agrees to talk before hearing

Updated: January 28, 2008, 8:06 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Chuck Knoblauch is heading to Capitol Hill.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played with Roger Clemens on the New York Yankees, agreed Monday to speak to a House committee investigating drug use in baseball after initially failing to respond to an invitation to testify.

Chuck Knoblauch

Knoblauch

His silence prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to issue a subpoena last week, but federal marshals were not able to track down Knoblauch right away. The 1991 AL Rookie of the Year eventually did make contact, and his twice-postponed meeting with committee staff for a deposition or transcribed interview will be Friday.

That session is preparation for the panel's hearing Feb. 13, when Knoblauch is among five scheduled witnesses, including Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee.

Also scheduled to testify are Andy Pettitte, a former teammate and workout partner of Clemens' who also trained with McNamee, and ex-New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski.

"We are pleased that Mr. Knoblauch has agreed to voluntarily participate in a transcribed interview or deposition with the committee. As a result, the committee is withdrawing the subpoena," Oversight committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis said in a statement.

Members of both majority and minority staffs declined to comment Monday when asked for details on Knoblauch's about-face. A lawyer identified by a committee staffer as Knoblauch's representative did not immediately return requests for comment made via telephone and e-mail.

Pettitte is slated to be the first Feb. 13 witness to appear for a deposition or transcribed interview, with his session scheduled for Wednesday. Clemens is to follow on Feb. 5, with McNamee on Feb. 7. Radomski's meeting with committee staff, originally scheduled for Feb. 1, then announced as "to be determined," is now listed on the committee's Web site for Feb. 12 -- the day before the hearing.

Representatives of baseball's players and owners, meanwhile, plan to meet later this week to discuss recommendations George Mitchell made in his report on baseball's steroids era, some of which are subject to collective bargaining.

Letters sent by Waxman and Davis to Clemens, Pettitte and Knoblauch on Jan. 16, requesting their appearances both at the hearing and a pre-hearing meeting, said: "The committee asks that you provide testimony about allegations in Senator George Mitchell's report ... that you and other Major League Baseball players used performance enhancing drugs during your professional baseball career."

The Mitchell report, released last month, included McNamee's allegations that he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998 while they were with Toronto, and with steroids and human growth hormone in 2000 and 2001 while with New York. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Pettitte acknowledged McNamee injected him with HGH twice while the pitcher was recovering from an injury.

McNamee told Mitchell he acquired HGH from Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001, and that he injected the player with it. Knoblauch's major league career ended in 2002.

Radomski pleaded guilty in April to federal felony charges of distributing steroids and laundering money, and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press