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Clemens says he was injected - with painkillers

Email|Print| Text size + By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / January 4, 2008

Roger Clemens acknowledged he took injections from longtime trainer Brian McNamee, but they differ about what Clemens was injected with.

CBS released an excerpt of Clemens's "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace, which airs Sunday, to the Associated Press yesterday in which the seven-time Cy Young winner reiterated he never took performance-enhancing drugs. In the Mitchell Report released Dec. 13, McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998 while they were with the Toronto Blue Jays, and human growth hormone in 2000 and 2001 while they were with the Yankees, but Clemens told Wallace he was injected with the painkiller lidocaine and the vitamin B-12.

Wallace asked Clemens if McNamee ever injected him with drugs, to which Clemens replied, "Lidocaine and B-12. It's for my joints, and B-12, I still take today."

Clemens said the charges were "ridiculous" and insisted he never used banned substances. After he made those statements, Wallace, who is a longtime friend, said, "Swear?" Clemens responded, "I swear."

Clemens is expected to hold a press conference in Houston Monday.

McNamee's lawyer, Richard Emery, has threatened to sue Clemens if he says McNamee is untruthful.

"I think that this is a lawyers' game, which allows him to try and attempt to say that McNamee didn't know what he was injecting or that at least Clemens didn't know what he was injecting," Emery told the Associated Press.

"It really depends now on how the whole interview goes, and whether he goes after Brian. Look, I don't care whether Clemens used Sodium Pentothal. I don't care if he used Strontium 90. My only concern is for Brian's well-being and his future."

Emery said a decision whether to sue won't be made until after the "60 Minutes" interview is broadcast.

McNamee also accused Clemens's teammate, friend, and workout partner, Andy Pettitte, of using human growth hormone. Pettitte initially denied the accusation, but admitted he took HGH twice in 2002 to recover from an elbow injury.

Pettitte's role is an interesting subplot. It's logical Wallace will ask Clemens about Pettitte's admission of guilt. It's logical Clemens will be asked why McNamee would tell the truth about Pettitte but lie about Clemens. It also will be interesting to see if Clemens reveals anything negative concerning his relationship with McNamee that might have led to a falling out.

According to McNamee's testimony in the Mitchell Report, Clemens began taking steroid injections after getting off to a 6-6 start with Toronto in 1998. Clemens won the Cy Young Award with the Blue Jays in 1997 but struggled a year later. He had a 3.22 ERA after beating Detroit June 3 to reach 6-6. Then he went on a 14-0 run to finish 20-6 with a 2.65 ERA.

McNamee stated in the report that Clemens supplied his own steroids.

Pettitte has not spoken about the allegations surrounding Clemens. Pettitte and Clemens have the same agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, but the pitchers have taken different paths in responding to the allegations.

Clemens hired lawyer Rusty Hardin to conduct his own investigation into the Mitchell findings. Hardin has seized on the fact that McNamee has no documentation to link Clemens to steroids.

"Roger took bunches of his shots over his career, much the way racehorses do, unfortunately," Hardin said after the excerpts were released.

The Wallace interview is the first Clemens has done one on one since the Mitchell Report. His interview Monday will be before the media, although the location in Houston has not been announced.

The day after Christmas, Hardin said in a written statement, "On Roger's behalf, we are investigating the allegations about him contained in the Mitchell Report. To our surprise, we have identified several people who logic dictates the Mitchell team should have talked to but did not. That's troubling. We are asking questions and we encourage the news media to do the same."

Clemens was wrongly implicated, along with Pettitte, in a Los Angeles Times story in October 2006, in which the newspaper stated Clemens's and Pettitte's names were mentioned in a sealed affidavit from former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley. When the papers were unsealed, neither Clemens nor Pettitte was mentioned. The LA Times published a correction and apologized.

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