Pettitte, Radomski dropped from hearing

Three dropped from hearing

WASHINGTON -- The simmering drama between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee has enveloped much of Capitol Hill's business in recent days. Their upcoming exchanges will not require a supporting audience.

Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte and former Major Leaguer Chuck Knoblauch will not be testifying at Wednesday's public hearing, nor will former Mets clubhouse attendant and convicted steroids dealer Kirk Radomski.

The announcement was made Monday in a joint statement issued by Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Tom Davis (R-Va.), the committee's ranking minority member.

"Mr. Knoblauch and Mr. Pettitte answered all the Committee's questions and their testimony at the hearing is not needed," the statement explained. "Mr. Clemens and Mr. McNamee have also cooperated with the Committee in its investigation."

One addition was announced to the attendance list: Waxman and Davis said that Charlie Scheeler, a lawyer who worked with former Senate majority leader George Mitchell to produce December's report on drugs in baseball, will testify. A partner with Mitchell's law firm, DLA Piper, Scheeler mainly works in commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense, according to the firm's Web site.

Asked by The Associated Press about Scheeler's addition, Rusty Hardin, Clemens' lead lawyer, said: "It's interesting. I look forward to hearing what he has to say."

For Pettitte in particular, the decision to relieve him of the requirement to appear represented fortuitous timing. His appearance was to take place one day before he is scheduled to report to Tampa, Fla., for the Yankees' mandatory pitchers and catchers Spring Training report date.

The ruling allows Pettitte to escape the awkward situation of appearing and perhaps offering in-person testimony that could harm Clemens, though it is possible he already may have provided information detrimental to the hurler's case in his deposition.

Pettitte appeared at the Rayburn House Office Building last Monday and offered more than 2 1/2 hours of sworn deposition behind closed doors.

Named in the Mitchell Report, Pettitte has admitted to twice using human growth hormone during the 2002 season, with McNamee's assistance. That claim could bolster McNamee's credibility, given Clemens' repeated and vehement denials of any contact with performance-enhancing drugs, despite an admittedly close personal relationship with McNamee.

Drug Policy in Baseball

In the Mitchell Report, which was released on Dec. 13, McNamee charged that he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH on at least 16 occasions beginning in 1998. Knoblauch appeared for testimony two weeks ago and has not denied using PEDs, which McNamee claimed to have supplied, during his playing career.

A lawyer familiar with the matter told The New York Times on Monday that one of Pettitte's lawyers has been contacted by Internal Revenue Service special agent Jeff Novitsky, who has led federal criminal investigations into steroid use for the past 5 1/2 years. Novitzky is expected to attend the hearing on Wednesday.

Radomski was sentenced to five years' probation last week in a San Francisco federal court on steroid distribution and money laundering charges. He reportedly was planning on invoking his Fifth Amendment rights in order to avoid exposure to further prosecution.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.