WASHINGTON Now Roger Clemens gets a chance to tell his side of the story under oath. So does his good pal Andy Pettitte. And their former trainer, Brian McNamee, too.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, was asked Friday to testify before a congressional committee looking into the Mitchell Report on doping in baseball, nearly three years after the same panel brought sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro to Capitol Hill.
Also invited to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Jan. 16 were Clemens' former New York Yankees teammates Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch; McNamee, who has said he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone; and former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, whose allegations were central to the findings released last month by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.
Although no one had agreed to show up for the hearing as of late Friday afternoon, the committee's announcement listed Clemens and others under the heading, "Witnesses will include."
"Roger is willing to answer questions, including those posed to him while under oath," said Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin. "We hope to determine shortly if schedules and other commitments can accommodate the committee on that date."
Said the committee's minority staff director, David Marin: "We always presume that invited witnesses will appear."
That session will take place one day after the lawmakers are to hear testimony from Mitchell, along with baseball commissioner Bud Selig and union leader Donald Fehr.
"The original hearing was called to examine the Mitchell recommendations and findings. The committee has decided to hold a second day of hearings for the very same reason to invite people with varying perspectives on the Mitchell Report to shed further light on it," Marin said.
Clemens, who ranks eighth in major league history with 354 career wins, and McNamee, a former strength coach for the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, have engaged in a public game of he-said, he-said although neither has spoken under oath about the matter.
"Congress is asking him to appear. In all likelihood, he will certainly appear," said Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers.
The leaders of the committee, California Democrat Henry Waxman and Virginia Republican Tom Davis, were among several members of the House and Senate who sponsored legislation in 2005, proposing to mandate stronger steroid testing and penalties for baseball and other U.S. professional sports leagues.
Another congressional committee has scheduled a Jan. 23 hearing on the Mitchell Report.