Congress to Subpoena Sosa, Giambi, McGwire

Congress to subpoena Sosa, Giambi, others (ESPN)

Former Oakland Athletics sluggers Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi were among seven current and former baseball stars that a congressional committee plans to subpoena as soon as Wednesday to testify about steroids. Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas also were asked last week to testify. Thus far, only Canseco and Thomas have said they were willing to appear. “We hope subpoenas won’t be necessary, but we are prepared to move forward with subpoenas [Wednesday] if we receive information that witnesses are not willing to appear voluntarily,” David Marin, a spokesman for House Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, said Tuesday.

The Baltimore Sun first reported on the subpoenas earlier Tuesday on its Web site.

According to reports, Barry Bonds, whose role in baseball’s steroids scandal has been questioned for the last year, has not yet been subpoenaed.

It’s unclear to me what this accomplishes, beyond grandstanding for the Congress. There have also been reports that a similar hearing will be held by the Senate.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Methinks thou hast answered thine own question.

  2. Patti says:

    It’s not meant to accomplish anything. The congressmen just see an opportunity to get all these neat autographs.

  3. Myopist says:

    Beat me to it, Patti.

  4. Mark says:

    Definetely a PR move by Congress to capitalize on the steroid buzz. However, baseball does have a special exemption with respect to commerce and competition which could be removed by Congress if it so desires.

  5. Mark says:

    Grandstanding? Oh, just a bit. Also, can someone tell me what steroid use in baseball has to do with the GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE? At least they could have made it some subcommittee that deals with health-related issues – sheesh.

  6. Jim Henley says:

    This isn’t just typical congressional-hearing grandstanding. It’s grandstanding that could BACKFIRE. Supposedly the committee hearins are designed to show The Dangers of Steroids to teenagers. There’s an essential, congressionally mandated federal task for you. But the baseball witnesses called are noteworthy for having suffered no discernable ill effects from using steroids whatsoever. Quite the opposite, if they end up admitting use in testimony. Unintended but predictible hearing message: use steroids and be like a baseball superstar!

  7. James Joyner says:

    Jim: Quite possibly. There have been a few famous athletes (Lyle Alzado comes to mind) whose deaths have been hastened by ‘roids but they’re likely a tiny fraction of those whose performance has been enhanced. Ken Caminiti’s name comes up, too, but his death was likely caused by recreational drug overdose, not steroids.

  8. Jack Tanner says:

    I’m sure the testimony of Sammy Sosa, Giambi, Bonds, Palmeiro and Thomas will be riveting. Aren’t they all, like still playing. ‘I didn’t know nothing, man.’

  9. harry says:

    Government needs to butt out of baseball and do the job that they were created to do; assuming that they can remember what that was.