WASHINGTON -- Portions of former baseball player Mark McGwire's testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform on March 17, 2005:
John Sweeney, R-N.Y: It is rather an infamous occurrence that in the year you were breaking the home run record, a bottle of Andro was seen in your locker. My question to you is your position now says that the use of that product, which is now illegal but was not then -- how did you get to that point that was what you were using to prepare yourself to play? And if you could tell this committee how you ended up there. And I would like to know if other players have similar experiences. I think that would help us understand what you all live in.
McGwire: Well, sir, I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to talk about the positive and not the negative about this issue.
Sweeney: Were you ever counselled that precursors or designer steroids might have the same impact?
McGwire: I'm not here to talk about the past.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.: ... Are you taking the fifth?
McGwire: I'm not here to discuss the past. I'm here to be positive about this subject.
Cummings: I'm trying to be positive, too. But just a few minutes ago, I watched you with tears -- I need to ask a question. ... I sit here and I almost got tears in my eyes watching you testify. And, you know, the thing that I'm curious about is, you know, it's one thing to say that we want to help. It's a whole another thing when those parents are sitting directly behind you and they wonder if this is real. I guess my question is you said something about your foundation and trying to help out. Tell us exactly what it is that you plan for your foundation to do.
McGwire: Well, right now?
Cummings: Talking about the future, as you said.
McGwire: My foundation helps out neglected and abused children. We have not talked about it, but I'm going to redirect about this subject.
Cummings: You are willing to be a national spokesman against steroids? We have all these high school kids that are emulating you and still look up to McGwire and others. And I think you said you are willing to be a national spokesman?
McGwire: I would be a great one.
Cummings: You would do it?
Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.: My followup question is to Mr. McGwire. You said you would like to be a spokesman on this issue. What is your message?
McGwire: My message is that steroids is bad. Don't do them. It's a bad message. And I'm here because of that. And I want to tell everybody that I will do everything I can, if you allow me, to turn this into a positive. There is so much negativity said out here. We need to start talking about positive things here.
McHenry: How do you know they're bad?
McGwire: Pardon me?
McHenry: Your message, coming from professional baseball, would you say that perhaps you have known people that have taken steroids, and you have seen ill effects on that, or would your message be that you have seen the direct effects of steroids? ...
McGwire: I have accepted, by my attorney's advice, not to comment on this issue.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio: What can you say right now ... to America's youth with respect to the use of steroids? Just in a half a minute to a minute. ...
McGwire: I would say that steroids are wrong. Do not take them. It gives you nothing but false hope. That's what I would say.
Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.: Mr. McGwire, we are both fathers of young children. Both my son and daughter love sports and they look up to stars like you. Can we look at those children with a straight face and tell them that great players like you played the game with honesty and integrity?
McGwire: Like I said earlier, I am not going to go in the past and talk about my past. I am here to make a positive influence on this.
Clay: Mr. McGwire, you have already acknowledged that you used certain supplements, including andro, as part of your training routine. In addition to andro, which was legal at the time -- that you used it -- what other supplements did you use?
McGwire: I am not here to talk about the past. ...
Clay: Mr. McGwire, let me go back and ask you, would you have been able to perform at that level without using andros?
McGwire: I am not going to talk about the past.
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.: Never had the problem of seeing your colleagues use drugs?
McGwire: Pardon me?
Shays: Never had a problem of seeing your colleagues use drugs, steroids; is that what you mean? I don't know what you mean by you never had that problem.
McGwire: I am not going to get into the past.