WASHINGTON – House lawmakers demanded Wednesday to see the drug test that showed Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro (search) tested positive for steroids. Palmeiro said he would "fully cooperate" with the request.
Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., and ranking Democrat Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., said they wanted all the documents related to the test, including the results, the dates of the test and any other relevant information.
"We are pleased that Mr. Palmeiro has pledged his full cooperation. He has agreed to authorize the release of all relevant documents to the Committee, which will help us fully understand the facts of the situation. Once we review the documents, we will determine our next step," said the lawmakers, who have been investigating steroid use in professional sports and heard from Palmeiro in March that he was steroid-free.
Later, Davis told The Associated Press that the committee would look into whether Palmeiro perjured himself when he addressed the committee.
"As a practical matter, perjury referrals are uncommon," Davis said. "Prosecutions are rare. But this is a high-profile case, so I think it will get an honest look-see. I don't think anyone can avoid it.
"If we did nothing, I think we'd look like idiots, don't you?" he asked
After the series of hearings in which Major League Baseball was roundly criticized for a lax drug policy, MLB agreed to revamp its testing regimen and penalties for players found with the performance-enhancing drug in their bloodstream.
On Monday, MLB officials announced that Palmeiro became the seventh player this year to have tested positive for steroids, and he had been put on a 10-day suspension, the penalty for a first offense. A day later, Seattle Mariners right-hander Ryan Franklin, 32, joined the club of players suspended for steroid use.
Palmeiro last month became the fourth player in baseball history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers, joining the ranks of Hank Aaron (search), Willie Mays and Eddie Murray. But after hearing Monday's announcement, some local lawmakers suggested his record should have an asterisk next to it to point out that he may have unfairly earned the accomplishment.
In March, Palmeiro, 40, took an indignant tone with lawmakers, insisting he had never used steroids, a charge made against him by former slugger Jose Canseco, who published in his tell-all book last winter that he had helped Palmeiro shoot up the drug.
"I have never used steroids. Period," Palmeiro told the congressional panel.
On Monday, Palmeiro didn't deny the test's accuracy but said he could not explain how the drugs entered his system. A person with knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program told The Associated Press that the drug in Palmeiro's system was stanozonol. Stanozonol is not found in nutritional supplements.
"When I testified in front of Congress, I know that I was testifying under oath and I told the truth," he said during a telephone conference call Monday. "Today I am telling the truth again that I did not do this intentionally or knowingly."
On Wednesday, Palmeiro released a statement saying he would comply with Congress' request.
"I spoke with Congressman Davis yesterday and told him that I will fully cooperate with him and the committee. I will provide them with any information they need and if he or any other committee member has additional questions, I am ready and willing to answer each and every one of them," he said.
Davis said that conversation lasted about three minutes and included Palmeiro's attorneys.
"He was pretty adamant about the point he didn't do anything. He also remarked he didn't have a lot of time to enjoy his 3,000th hit. There was an allusion to that," Davis said.
"What we are concerned about, obviously, is the integrity of the committee process when we swear people in. We have an obligation to look further into it, and I explained that to him, and he said he understood," he added.
Besides condemning steroid use during his appearance before Congress, Palmeiro also took part via conference call in a round-table discussion last month about how to rid sports of steroids. The talks included members of Congress and representatives from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.
President Bush — who owned the Texas Rangers while Palmeiro played for the team — called Palmeiro a "friend" in a Monday interview with reporters from several Texas newspapers.
"He's testified in public, and I believe him," Bush added.
It wasn't clear whether Palmeiro's test was taken before or after he spoke before the congressional panel. Anyone who lies under oath could be potentially subject to criminal perjury charges; Congress has the option of referring the case to the Justice Department, which would decide whether it's worth pursuing.
Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said the documents would be released as requested "in a timely manner," but did not give specifics and did not know if they would be made public once received.
FOX News' Jim Mills and The Associated Press contributed to this report.