Congress Not Interested in Meeting with A-Rod

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Alex Rodriguez won't be appearing on Capitol Hill anytime soon.

The new chairman of the congressional committee that asked Roger
Clemens, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro about steroids in
baseball in recent years said Tuesday he does not think lawmakers
need to hear from Rodriguez in the aftermath of an admission he
used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03.

"The American people need leaders who will focus on stemming
job losses and getting credit to flow in the marketplace before
hearing from yet another person who cheated both himself and the
game of baseball," said House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns, a Democrat from
New York.

Towns does plan to monitor baseball's drug-testing policy and
did not rule out the possibility of hearings down the road.

Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site Saturday that
Rodriguez was among 104 players who tested positive for steroids in
2003, when testing was intended to determine the extent of drug use
in baseball.

Rodriguez acknowledged Monday in an interview with ESPN that he
used banned substances while playing with the Texas Rangers from
2001-03 to justify the 10-year, $252 million contract that made him
baseball's highest-paid player.

"The news that another one of baseball's premier players - in
addition to another 103 unnamed players - used
performance-enhancing drugs is disturbing and sends yet another
horrible message to our young people," Towns said.

This committee is the same one that last year heard Clemens deny
using steroids or human growth hormone. And in 2005, it heard
McGwire repeatedly state that he was not going to talk about the
past and Palmeiro deny using steroids.

Palmeiro failed a drug test and was suspended by baseball later
that year. In trying to determine whether Palmeiro lied to
Congress, the committee interviewed one of his teammates, Miguel
Tejada, about steroids in baseball.

Tejada was charged Tuesday with lying to Congress when he denied
knowing that a former teammate with the Oakland Athletics used
performance-enhancing drugs.

A grand jury has been asked to determine whether Clemens should
be indicted on charges of lying to Congress.