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Hearings set to start

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  February 13, 2008 09:44 AM

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Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee are just about to state their cases in front of a congressional committee investigating baseball's steroids scandal. It's scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

We'll provide a play-by-play from anything we see of significance, and the Globe's Gordon Edes will chime in from time to time as well to share his thoughts on the proceedings. If you're stuck at work and would like to watch it live, check out the AP's live streaming video feed.

Meanwhile, this just came over the AP wire from the duo's opening statements, which were released before the hearings:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brian McNamee said he injected Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs more often than he previously claimed, starting their high-stakes testimony before Congress on Wednesday with new attacks on the credibility of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

"I have helped taint our national pastime." McNamee, the pitcher's former personal trainer, said in his prepared statement, released before the start of the highly anticipated hearing.

Clemens has denied the accusations that became public in December's Mitchell Report. The 354-game winner repeated those denials under oath to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"I have never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance enhancing drugs," Clemens said, also in a prepared statement. "No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have my name restored. I know that a lot of people want me to say that I have taken steroids and be done with it. But I cannot in good conscience admit to doing something that I did not do; even if it would be easier to do so."

McNamee told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he injected Clemens 16 to 21 times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998-01. McNamee also said that Yankees teammates Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch used HGH.

"I have that opportunity to think about these events and consider the specific drug regimens we used," McNamee said. "As a result, I now believe that the number of times I injected Roger Clemens and Chuck Knoblauch was greater than I initially stated."

Sounding like a character from "The Godfather," McNamee also attacked the credibility of Clemens, with whom he worked closely for many years.

"While I liked and admired Roger Clemens, I don't think that I ever really trusted him," McNamee said.

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