WASHINGTON – Former baseball slugger Jose Canseco (search) and several players he has accused of joining him in abusing steroids have been invited to testify before a House committee.
"There's a cloud over baseball, and perhaps a public discussion of the issues, with witnesses testifying under oath, can provide a glimpse of sunlight," said Rep. Tom Davis (search), R-Va., chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.
Davis and the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Henry Waxman (search) of California, announced Thursday that they were inviting Canseco and six other former or active players, including New York Yankee Jason Giambi (search) and former St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire (search), to testify at a March 17 hearing.
A spokeswoman for Waxman, who last week wrote Davis to urge hearings on baseball's response to the steroid scandal, said they don't know if the players will agree to attend. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has also been invited.
Canseco, in a recently released book, admits using steroids and alleges that he injected the drugs with McGwire and introduced steroids to other stars, including current Baltimore Oriole Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro and others named by Canseco have denied using the performance-enhancing drugs.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in December that Giambi told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he had used steroids.
Also on the invitation list are Palmeiro, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, current Baltimore Oriole Sammy Sosa and Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox.
Major League Baseball and the players union in January agreed to a tougher steroid-testing program in the wake of allegations that Giambi and home run star Barry Bonds were steroid users. Bonds has also denied knowingly taking the drugs.