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New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte admitted to using human growth hormone. ((Tony Dejak/Associated Press))

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte admitted Wednesday that he used human growth hormone supplied to him by his father.

Pettitte issued a statement shortly before the start of congressional hearings in Washington on Roger Clemens' alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, acknowledging he used HGH in 2002 and 2004.

Pettitte was excused from appearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday after he gave a deposition and a sworn affidavit before a congressional committee last week.

"In that affidavit, Andy informed the committee that in addition to the two shots a day of HGH he took for two days in 2002, he also took HGH for a one-day period in 2004, shortly preceding season-ending elbow surgery," his lawyers, Jay Reisinger, Thomas Farrell and James Sharp, said in a statement.

"Andy had not previously mentioned this usage because he acquired the substance from his father, who had obtained it without Andy's knowledge in an effort to overcome his very serious health problems, which have included serious cardiac conditions," the statement said.

"Andy did not want his father, whom he deeply respects and loves, to be brought into this matter and sought to shield him from publicity. In both cases, Andy used HGH in a misguided effort to recover from injury."

Pettitte's lawyers said he would speak with reporters when he arrives at spring training with the Yankees. Pitchers and catchers were due to report to camp on Thursday, but it's unclear if Pettitte would report on time.

Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that is conducting the hearings, applauded Pettitte for making the admissions.

"Mr. Pettitte's consistency makes him a role model on and off the field," Waxman said.

Details of Pettitte's sworn affidavit were leaked Tuesday in which he told Congress that Clemens admitted to him nearly 10 years ago that the seven-time Cy Young award winner used HGH.

With files from Associated Press