WASHINGTON - Lined up shoulder to shoulder, some of baseball's biggest stars told Congress Thursday that steroids are a problem for the sport but denied that use is widespread. Mark McGwire, whose prodigious home runs helped fuel a surge in baseball's popularity, refused to say whether he took the drugs.
On a day of extraordinary drama, the House Government Reform Committee (news - web sites) attacked baseball's new steroid policy, then questioned five current and former players, all of them wearing dark suits and ties instead of uniforms and caps.
Under oath, Jose Canseco — whose best-selling book helped prompt the hearing — said anew that he had used steroids as a player. Current stars Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro said they haven't. McGwire repeatedly declined to respond directly, saying his lawyers advised him not to answer certain questions.
"If a player answers, 'No,' he simply will not be believed," said McGwire. "If he answers, 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations."