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Congress withdraws subpoena after Knoblauch agrees to talk before hearing

1/28/2008 - MLB

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.

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.