The federal prosecutor overseeing an investigation of steroids in baseball and the attorney for former pitcher Jason Grimsley questioned a news report indicating five players, including Roger Clemens, had used illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
The prosecutor said the report in the Los Angeles Times contained "significant inaccuracies," including the five names in the report.
And Grimsley's attorney told The Arizona Republic that Grimsley told agents that Clemens and his Houston Astros
teammate Andy Pettitte would "never in a million years" use illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
The inaccuracies have to do with the names as they appear in the report, a spokesman for San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said. The spokesman did not elaborate.
"We have no comment, except to say we stand by our story," Times sports editor Randy Harvey said, claiming the paper had not been informed of any inaccuracies to the report.
Citing sealed court filings, the Los Angeles Times reported that Grimsley had named Clemens, Pettitte, and Baltimore Orioles players Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons. The story first appeared on the Times' Web
site on Saturday and was quickly seized on by print and broadcast media outlets.
Ryan issued a statement
Monday, saying: "In view of the recent news reports purporting to
identify certain athletes whose names had been redacted from the
government's search warrant filings in the Grimsley matter, and in
the interests of justice, please be advised that these reports contain significant inaccuracies."
The Times reported that an unidentified source with access to the
document allowed the newspaper to view it, and a second source
provided additional details about the document.
Grimsley's attorney, Ed Novak, told the Republic "Jason told them [the federal agents] he had no knowledge of Clemens and Pettitte using any illegal drugs and told them that never in a million years would either of them use."
Novak told the newspaper that the agents, not Grimsley, brought up Clemens and Pettitte, and that recent published reports claiming Grimsley also identified Roberts and Gibbon as players who took steroids were also incorrect.
"As to all five players named, Jason did not attribute steroid use to any of them," Novak, the vice president of the Arizona State Bar, told the Republic. "There was no mention of Roberts or Gibbons at all. ... The agents didn't even mention Roberts or Gibbons."
Federal agents raided Grimsley's Arizona home in June after the
pitcher admitted using human growth hormone, steroids and
amphetamines. The pitcher later was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In a search warrant affidavit, IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky
said Grimsley had identified the other players as drug users. Those
names were blacked out when the document was originally released.
All five players immediately denounced the story, with Clemens
calling it "dangerous and malicious and reckless."
"As I have said all along, and as Andy and Roger said quite
clearly yesterday, they have never used performance-enhancing
drugs," Randy Hendricks, the agent for Pettitte and Clemens, said
He added that Clemens "signed up to play for his country in the
World Baseball Classic this year and submitted to Olympic standard
testing, including blood work, and then went out and had another
good year for the Astros."
Grimsley played with Clemens and Pettitte on the New York Yankees, and is now out of baseball. The reliever has admitted
using a variety of banned substances and was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.