Claims Mitchell Report Info Wrong
It's a case of 'he said - he said,' and now the court of public opinion must make a decision. The 45 year-old pitcher has released a statement that he hopes will clear the air on the allegations made in the recent release of what is known as 'The Mitchell Report.'
In black and white and starting on page 167, Roger Clemens has the longest section out of all the 80-soemthing current and former players named in the investigation. Nine pages long and full of exact detail, Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee testified that he personally injected the hard-throwing hurler with Winstrol, a highly potent anabolic steroid, on numerous occasions beginning in 1998 when they were both employed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Clemens was traded to the Yankees the following year, but McNamee was hired by the Bronx Bombers in 2000 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, reportedly on Clemens' persuasion. In the middle of that season, McNamee injected Clemens with testosterone from a bottle of either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin, as well as human growth hormone. McNamee had received the aforementioned performance-enhancing drugs from Kirk Radomski, who was the key witness in the report.
Similar situations occurred in 2001, and McNamee was not retained by the Yankees following that season. McNamee does not have any further knowledge of Clemens using PEDs after 2001.
Andy Pettitte, Clemens' close friend and teammate on three occasions, was also named in the report and subsequently publicly admitted to using HGH for two days in 2002 in order to hasten the recovery process from an elbow injury. Once Pettitte spoke, it put the pressure on Clemens to make a statement, although he had previously released a denial through his attorney.
In a statement released by his agent Randy Hendricks, Clemens said, "I want to state clearly and without qualification; I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take.
"I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand that Senator (George) Mitchell's report has raised many serious questions," Clemens continued in the statement. "I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment."
The main problem with the statement was that now Clemens has to show some sort of proof that McNamee was not telling the truth. If a paper trail comes out in public, that will make it very difficult for Clemens to change public perception of him, which may already be permanently tarnished. While in Toronto, Clemens supplied the drugs, but in New York, McNamee and Radomski were involved in supplying them. All throughout the report, there are copies of cancelled checks and shipping forms with the player's names clearly written. Although there were none from Clemens, it does not mean that one or more from him can be found.
In the event Clemens goes out of his way and publicly call McNamee and Radomski liars, his worst nightmares may come true if one or both of them can produce physical evidence.
Clemens still has not stated if he will pitch next season or not. If he does finally retire, which seems likely with all the negative attention, the five-year wait to get on the Hall of fame ballot may not be long enough for the Baseball Writer's Association members to forget. That may turn out to be Clemens' worst punishment.