Major League Baseball great Roger Clemens and his former personal trainer have given conflicting testimony to a U.S. Congressional Comittee about claims the pitcher used performance enhancing drugs. VOA's Jim Stevenson has more on the testimony.
Roger Clemens is among 80 current or former players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. The claims were first made public in December with the release of the Mitchell Report, Major League Baseball's doping investigation headed by former Senator George Mitchell.
On Wednesday in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Clemens made an emphatic denial to lawmakers that he had ever used steriods or human growth hormone. "I am not saying Senator Mitchell's report is entirely wrong. I am saying Brian McNamee's statements about me are wrong. Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH," he said.
Brian McNamee was a personal trainer for Clemens. He told lawmakers he had personally injected Clemens numerous times with human growth hormone and steroids between 1998 and 2001. McNamee, who sat at the same table with Clemens during the hearing, has said he also provided human growth hormone to Clemens' good friend and former teammate, pitcher Andy Pettitte, as well as another player, Chuck Knoblauch. Both players have confirmed McNamee's claim.
"I am not proud of what I have done. And I am not proud to testify against the man I once admired. To those who have suggested that I take some personal satisfaction in bringing down Roger Clemens, let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I take responsibility for my actions in the hopes that others may learn from my mistakes," he said.
After the hearing, Republican representative Tom Davis of Virginia said Clemens chose, but was not required to testify in person. "He insisted on coming before to clear his name, at some risk as well. We will let history decide this. Obviously Roger Clemens walks into the room as someone who has been generous to the community, who has been an All-Star and does not have the history on this issue that Mr. McNamee does. But there are other inconsistencies both ways. You are going to have to judge in parse," he said.
McNamee and Clemens gave conflicting statements during depositions last week. If the committee believes they made false statements under oath, it could ask the Justice Department to open an investigation.