Further review on Tejada

House to check for discrepancies in light of Mitchell Report

Sun exclusive

January 15, 2008|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,Sun Reporter

WASHINGTON -- A House committee plans to revisit statements made by former Orioles All-Star Miguel Tejada in 2005 to see whether the shortstop's story is consistent with information contained in the Mitchell Report, according to two sources with knowledge of the inquiry.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee will look for discrepancies between what Tejada told committee staff in August 2005 and what investigators for former Sen. George Mitchell concluded about him in last month's report on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Tejada's inclusion in the Mitchell Report came after former Oakland Athletics teammate Adam Piatt told investigators he sold testosterone to the shortstop in 2003, Tejada's last season in Oakland.

In 2005, Tejada said in an interview with congressional committee staff that the only supplement he takes is vitamin B-12.

Tejada's agent, Fernando Cuza, could not be reached yesterday at his office in Osprey, Fla.

Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing today on Major League Baseball's steroids policies. Commissioner Bud Selig, Mitchell and union chief Donald Fehr are scheduled to testify.

On Feb. 13, the committee is scheduled to hear from pitcher Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner. Brian McNamee, Clemens' former personal trainer, told investigators for Mitchell that he repeatedly injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001. Clemens has denied the accusations.

Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, met with the committee staff yesterday but declined to discuss the details. He called the meeting "informative and beneficial."

Another House panel - the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection - said it was postponing its scheduled Jan. 23 hearing on steroids in sports in order to accommodate witness schedules. No new date has been selected.

Tejada was questioned by Oversight and Government Reform staff as part of its investigation of former Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro in 2005.

Palmeiro had told the committee that a tainted B-12 shot from then-teammate Tejada might have caused him to test positive for a steroid. Palmeiro tested positive for stanozolol on May 4, 2005.

However, baseball tested samples of Tejada's B-12 and said it found they contained no steroids.

Sources did not characterize the new inquiry as a perjury investigation, and they said Tejada, who was traded last month to the Houston Astros, has not been accused by the committee of any wrongdoing.

However, Tejada could be subject to criminal penalties under a federal statute if he made "materially false" statements to the panel's staff even though he didn't appear as a witness at a hearing, one source said. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because no inquiry has been announced.

The statute, which covers "any investigation or review" by a congressional committee, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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