14 Feb 2008 11:39:39
Drug cheat Roger Clemens tells lawmakers Pettitte "Misremembered"


Clemens Tells Lawmakers
Pettitte 'Misremembered'
February 14, 2008; Page A4

Confronted with new and damaging testimony from a longtime teammate and
friend about performance-enhancing drugs, baseball star Roger Clemens told a
congressional panel yesterday that the accuser, Andy Pettitte, had
"misremembered" events.

Mr. Clemens, who played for the New York Yankees in 2007 and is considered
one of Major League Baseball's all-time greatest pitchers, reiterated his
claim that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. But yesterday,
the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee disclosed that Mr.
Pettitte had given a sworn affidavit to congressional investigators last
week that included the claim that Mr. Clemens had discussed as far back as a
decade ago taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Sitting two seats away during the hearing was Brian McNamee, a former
personal trainer for Mr. Clemens whose claims that he injected the pitcher
with performance-enhancing drugs on multiple occasions between 1998 and 2001
helped prompt the hearings. The panel members grilled Messrs. Clemens and
McNamee for more than four hours.

The hearing occurred on the same day major-league players began reporting
for spring training. The sport is trying to overcome a winter where steroids
dominated the headlines. Mr. Clemens's potential involvement moved into the
spotlight after former Sen. George Mitchell issued a report in December on
drug use in baseball. Mr. McNamee was one of the linchpin witnesses for the
report, which named dozens of players that it alleged have used
performance-enhancing drugs.

Mr. Pettitte was excused from appearing at the hearing, as was another
former Yankee, Chuck Knoblauch. Both have corroborated Mr. McNamee's
accounts. In light of that and other apparent inconsistencies, many on the
congressional panel cast doubt on Mr. Clemens's testimony. Rep. Elijah
Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, told the pitcher late in the hearing, "You're
one of my heroes, but it's hard to believe you."

Mr. McNamee's credibility also came under scrutiny. Rep. Dan Burton, an
Indiana Republican, listed past statements that Mr. McNamee admitted
yesterday were untrue, before saying, "I don't know what to believe. I know
one thing I don't believe and that's you."

Mr. McNamee's answers were generally quick and concise. "I want to be clear
that what I did was wrong...I have helped taint our national pastime," Mr.
McNamee said. "Make no mistake: When I told Sen. Mitchell that I injected
Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs, I told the truth."

After the hearing, Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chairs the
committee, told reporters he hadn't reached any conclusions on whether Mr.
Clemens would be referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal