Clemens Sought More Drugs While on Yankees, McNamee Says
Roger Clemens, the ex-New York Yankees pitcher charged with lying to Congress, used human growth hormone and testosterone while playing for the team in 2000 and 2001, his former trainer said.
Brian McNamee, the trainer, said in his second day testifying for the prosecution that Clemens asked him to buy the drugs in late June or early July 2000 while the two were at Yankee Stadium.
“‘I’m ready to start up again,’” McNamee said Clemens told him. “He asked me if I had a guy. I said yes.”
McNamee, then the Yankees’ assistant strength coach, said he injected Clemens as many as 20 times over the next two months. Most of the shots were given at Clemens’s apartment in New York and one occurred in the Jacuzzi area of the Yankees clubhouse, McNamee said.
McNamee spent about six hours today answering prosecutor questions about injecting Clemens, including where he got the drugs and how he eventually became the person who helped publicly name Clemens as a user of performance enhancing substances.
McNamee said he would buy “kits” of the drugs, which included syringes, from Kirk Radomski, a former clubhouse assistant for the New York Mets.
“I asked him if he had stuff for starting pitchers, what starting pitchers would take,” McNamee said.
McNamee said he would leave the kits under clothes in Clemens’s locker at the stadium. Clemens would then call him to his apartment when it was time for an injection, he said.
‘Two Days Off’
The HGH shots were “two days on, one day off,” while the testosterone shot was every seven to 10 days, McNamee said.
In 2000, McNamee said, he gave Clemens from six to 10 shots of testosterone and about 10 to 20 shots of HGH.
Clemens asked the trainer again in June 2001 to buy testosterone, McNamee said. McNamee said he asked Clemens whether he wanted HGH too. Clemens allegedly told him he didn’t like the fact that the HGH shots were given in the belly.
Unlike in the year before, McNamee said, he handed Clemens the drugs and syringes in the Yankees locker room.
After August, Clemens never asked for more drugs for himself, McNamee said.
McNamee said he would always dispose of the medical waste from the injections. He saved the needle, gauze and vial from one of the injections in 2001. He told jurors today he kept the items in a Miller Lite beer can that he grabbed from the recycling bin in Clemens’s apartment.
Showed His Wife
“I put it in my bag and went home,” McNamee said. “I showed it to my wife.”
McNamee said he put the can in a FedEx box marked “Clem” and placed it in a locked closet.
McNamee said he saved the material because his wife kept telling him that he would be the one to take the fall if something went wrong.
“She kept saying: ‘You’re going to go down, you’re going to go down, you’re going to go down if something bad ever happens,’” McNamee said.
“When you saved these items what were you intending to do with them?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Butler asked.
“Nothing,” McNamee said.
He said he thought about throwing them out and didn’t.
McNamee, 45, is the government’s only eyewitness to Clemens’s alleged drug use. Yesterday he testified about injections he allegedly gave Clemens during the 1998 baseball season while both worked for the Toronto Blue Jays.
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 use of steroids in Major League Baseball. He faces as long as 21 months in prison if convicted.
Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Clemens, began cross examining McNamee today for about 10 minutes before the trial ended for the day. Hardin made clear he’s seeking to show that McNamee sought to profit from his accusations against Clemens.
He showed the jury a picture of McNamee the day he testified before the grand jury in 2010 at the federal courthouse in Washington. McNamee was wearing a blue tie with a logo for American Nutrition Center.
Hardin asked several questions about McNamee’s dealings with the company and what McNamee did with tie. After McNamee said he kept it, Hardin asked about a tie autographed by McNamee that was later auctioned off by the company’s owner. Hardin said the company represented that the tie in the auction was the one worn by McNamee during his grand jury appearance.
McNamee said he received two ties from the company and it was “definitely possible” that one of them was auctioned.
Under questioning from Hardin, McNamee said he had done interviews promoting a sister company of American Nutrition Center.
Clemens, who says he was injected by McNamee, said he thought he was receiving vitamins and permissible drugs.
McNamee was asked by Butler whether he ever injected Clemens with vitamin B12 or lidocaine -- the two substances Clemens told Congress he had taken. McNamee said, “No, never.”
Clemens, 49, who pitched for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros 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 against Clemens includes the needle and cotton with Clemens’s DNA that tested positive for anabolic steroids, Durham said.
Hardin argued in opening statements that McNamee manipulated the government’s physical evidence and an expert will testify it’s easy to add DNA to a needle that has never been used in an injection.
Clemens has denied having used drugs since former Senator George Mitchell, acting as a special investigator for Major League Baseball, released a report on steroid use among professional ballplayers on Dec. 13, 2007. Mitchell concluded Clemens used drugs on at least 16 occasions from 1998 to 2001.
McNamee was let go by the Yankees after the 2001 season. He continued to train Clemens, as well as former Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte. He said that in 2003 he injected Clemens’s wife, Debbie, with HGH that he bought from Radomski.
In May 2007 while training Clemens for a return to the Yankees, McNamee said, he was contacted by federal agents. The agents had earlier raided Radomski’s home.
The following month, McNamee said, he signed an agreement to cooperate and was interviewed about players and business clients whom he provided with steroids and HGH. He admitted to injecting Clemens with HGH and steroids, though McNamee said he “minimized” the number of occasions. He also never told the investigators -- or the Mitchell commission -- about the alleged medical waste that he had stashed in his home.
“I wasn’t giving it up,” he said. “It was the last thing I had to hold onto to not hurt the guy as bad.”
McNamee said he changed his mind after Clemens played a secretly recorded phone call with McNamee during a television interview. McNamee said he was “infuriated” because the medical condition of his then 11-year-old son was discussed.
“It had nothing to do with steroids in baseball,” he said.
The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hither at email@example.com