Brian McNamee, who claims he injected former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone more than 10 years ago, agreed before a U.S. jury that his memory of those events “evolved” over time.
McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, was on the witness stand today for a third day in Clemens’s perjury trial in Washington. He struggled under cross-examination by defense lawyer Rusty Hardin to recollect the first time he heard Clemens talk about steroids and said his “bad memory” was why he initially failed to tell federal investigators about a 2004 conversation about the drugs he later recounted.
“Would you agree with me that ever since making these accusations about Mr. Clemens your memory and versions of what happened and details have sort of evolved?” Hardin asked.
“Yes sir,” McNamee responded.
McNamee was questioned for about two hours, his appearance cut short because of a juror’s commitment. Hardin will continue his cross-examination of McNamee tomorrow.
McNamee, 45, is the government’s only eyewitness to Clemens’s alleged drug use. Over the past two days, McNamee testified about injections of steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH, that he allegedly gave Clemens during the 1998, 2000 and 2001 baseball seasons while both worked for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury stemming from his testimony to a House panel investigating the use of steroids in Major League Baseball. He faces as long as 21 months in prison if convicted.
Hardin sought to show jurors that McNamee was inconsistent in prior statements to investigators and testimony to Congress. He put up an easel with a flip chart in the courtroom and wrote “mistakes,” “bad memory” and “lies” on it. He said those were the three categories he planned to talk about with McNamee for the next few hours.
Hardin asked McNamee about a 2004 conversation in which Clemens allegedly referred to seeking drugs. McNamee said the talk occurred at Clemens’s house a few months before the player came out of retirement to play for the Houston Astros. McNamee said Clemens talked about getting “really huge” and strong.
‘Have That Guy?’
As the two walked from the pool house to the master house, McNamee said, Clemens asked, “You still have that guy?”
“I said, ‘Yes,’” McNamee said. He said Clemens was asking about Kirk Radomski, who McNamee testified sold him the steroids and HGH he had injected Clemens with earlier.
Hardin asked McNamee why he never told federal investigators about the conversation when questioned in 2007.
“The reason for my bad memory was nothing ever came of that conversation,” McNamee said. “I never got anything from Kirk.”
“Mr. McNamee, do you sometimes just make stuff up,” Hardin asked.
“I didn’t make it up,” McNamee answered.
Clemens, 49, who pitched for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Astros and Boston Red Sox during a 24-year career, used the anabolic steroids and HGH to remain competitive as he aged, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham said in his opening statement as the trial began on April 23.
The government’s case includes a needle and cotton with Clemens’s DNA that tested positive for anabolic steroids, Durham said.
The material was given to the government by McNamee, who said he saved the needle, gauze and vial from one of the injections in 2001. He told jurors yesterday he kept the items in a Miller Lite beer can that he took from the recycling bin in Clemens’s apartment.
The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 1:10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).