Congress expects Palmeiro drug test records this week

WASHINGTON - A House committee chairman said yesterday he expects to have all of Major League Baseball's drug testing records for Rafael Palmeiro by the end of the week as the panel steps up its perjury investigation of the Orioles player.

Rep. Tom Davis, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said committee attorneys and investigators will begin interviewing potential witnesses once they've reviewed the documents, which Palmeiro has agreed to turn over voluntarily.

Palmeiro, who swore under oath before the committee earlier this year that he had never taken steroids, was suspended for 10 days by Major League Baseball last Monday after he tested positive for steroids. Palmeiro has said he doesn't know how the steroids got into his body.

"I don't think it was inadvertent in terms of getting in," Davis said. "I know he knew he was taking something."

Davis wouldn't say if he thinks Palmeiro committed perjury.

"We're a long way from that at this point," he said. "But there are certainly some incongruities in his statement and we have a duty to investigate."

Sen. Jim Bunning, Kentucky Republican and a former pitcher who's in the Hall of Fame, said the Senate will hold hearings this fall on legislation that would mandate two-year suspensions for any professional athlete in a team sport who tested positive for steroids.