Clemens fires back, denies taking steroids or HGH
NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens denied allegations by his former trainer that he took performance-enhancing drugs, calling them "a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take."
The Rocket is fizzling when it comes to answering allegations that he used steroids and HGH, writes Gene Wojciechowski. Story
The accusations against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner from former trainer Brian McNamee were the most striking in last week's Mitchell Report. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell said McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998 while with the Toronto Blue Jays, and steroids and human growth hormone in 2000 and 2001, while with the New York Yankees.
"I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life," Clemens said Tuesday in a statement issued through his agent, Randy Hendricks. "Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take.
"I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand that Senator Mitchell's report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment."
Another former McNamee client, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, said last weekend that he took HGH twice while rehabbing from an injury in 2002. Mitchell said McNamee told him he injected Pettitte with HGH two-to-four times that year.
I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life.
--Roger Clemens, in a statement issued by his agent.
"He stands 100 percent behind the accuracy of the information he provided to Sen. Mitchell," McNamee's lawyer, Ed Ward, said in a statement.
Mitchell declined comment.
Baseball players and owners didn't have an agreement banning steroids until September 2002. They banned HGH in January 2005.
McNamee's lawyer, Ed Ward, said he would attempt to reach his client to determine whether McNamee wanted to respond to Clemens' statement.
Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued a denial last Thursday, hours after Mitchell's report was issued. Tuesday marked the first public comments by Clemens, an 11-time All-Star who spent 24 years in the major leagues with Boston, Toronto, the Yankees and Houston.
The allegations also have the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association reconsidering whether to let Clemens speak at the group's annual convention next month. The group held an executive meeting Tuesday but postponed making a decision until it could get more information. Clemens spoke with one of the group's coaches before the meeting and said he "is ready to come speak," said Jim Long, president of the association.
"We feel we owe it to our association and Roger himself to give him the benefit of the doubt further," Long said.
The 45-year-old right-hander was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA for the Yankees this year and may retire. He said he planned to retire after the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons, only to return each time.
A six-time 20-game winner, Clemens was considered by most to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer before McNamee's allegations.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Lester, Ross carry Red Sox past White Sox
- Sizemore's scoop caps Yankees' triple play
- Cards' Wainwright 2-hits error-prone Nats
- Mattingly voices worry over threats to Puig
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
THE MITCHELL REPORT
The Mitchell report• Mitchell delivers his report | Read it (pdf)
• Players: Who's named in the report
• Recommendations from the report
• Report reaction: What they're saying
• Drugs listed in report | The Dope On Steroids
• Evidence may limit Selig's punishment choices
• Mitchell defends naming stars in report
• Owners praise Selig, support extended tenure
• Seligs hopes to finish review by spring
Clemens news• Reports: New name surfaces in Clemens saga
• Date set for Clemens, McNamee depositions
• McNamee unlikely to get congressional immunity
• Mitchell reportedly tried to contact Clemens twice
• McNamee's attorney defends immunity request
• Source: Clemens hedges on giving deposition
• Report of Clemens abscess raises more questions
• Astros unsure if Clemens to help at camp
• Clemens' accuser meets with federal prosecutors
• Rocket reps: McNamee 'avoiding' being served
• Source: No immunity expected for Clemens
• Laywer: McNamee 'avoiding' being served papers
• Clemens denies steroid use in taped conversation
• Trainer's lawyers alert Congress to second tape
Pettitte news• Pettitte undecided if he'll testify before Congress
• Pettitte gets new lawyer for congressional hearing
• Pettitte admits using HGH in 2002
Grimsley/Radomski documents• Unsealed documents: Radomski | Grimsley
• Federal agent Jeff Novitzky's sworn affidavit
• Watson denies allegations in Grimsley affidavit
• Hearst wants goverment. to explain conduct
Other News• Players, owners try to modify drug agreement
• Fehr: Foreign players deserve equal drug penalties
• Pujols bans TV station that erroneously named him
• MLB establishes drug investigations unit
• Report: Knoblauch ends silence on steroid report
• Kent: Players should undergo blood testing
• Rose investigator says Mitchell undermined report
• Report: Congressional hearing postponed
• MLB to crack down on clubhouse security
• Congressman blasts Selig on steroids policy
• Report: Players may still testify at hearing
• Report: MLB players won't testify for Congress
• Rose says users 'making a mockery' of game
• Selig defends baseball's drug-testing program
• Post-'03 cases face most MLB scrutiny
• Congress calling new hearings on steroids, HGH
• Report: Deal with feds led to McNamee testimony
• Report: Roberts admits one-time steroid use
• Nats prez: Team had no advance copy of report
• Indians' Byrd discusses HGH use with MLB
• Vina admits HGH use, but disputes steroid claims
• MLB's man: Progress in urine test to detect HGH
• O's respond to Mitchell findings
• A-Rod's reply to Canseco: I never doped
• Bush: MLB must take report seriously
• Pujols sets record straight on inaccurate report
• Reliever Donnelly 'sick' over inclusion in report
• Former D-back Cabrera denies using steroids
• Lowell calls for stronger steroid testing
Analysis• Munson: Delay means Congress serious
• Wojciechowski: Rocket's logic fizzles
• Assael: Clemens throws up and in at McNamee
• Munson: Clemens' lawsuit is part propaganda
• Olney: There's one thing Clemens can't change
• Crasnick: A tale of two Rockets on "60 Minutes"
• Neyer: Time to stop behaving like a child
• Bryant: Odds are against Clemens in interview
• Munson Q&A: Clemens, McNamee on the hot seat
• Neyer: Investigate all players
• Wojciechowski: Time for Clemens to speak up
• Neyer: Does HGH enhance performance?
• Hill: Pettitte's apology was a joke
• Stark: Pettitte no different than Pats' Harrison
• Stark: Clemens, Bonds tales similar, yet different
• Bryant: Selig must address steroids era records
• Santangelo admits HGH use; will 'face the music'
• Helyar: Not good for short-term business
• Fish: Baseball's steroids crisis management
• Crasnick: Clemens' Hall of Fame chances?
• Gammons: Drug culture quite slimy
• Hall of Fame voters speak out on Clemens
• Stark: Indelible impact on the game
• Wojciechowski: Thaw needed in cold war
• Bryant: Mitchell report flat without feds
• Fainaru-Wada: Report sheds light on Bonds
• Crasnick: Recently acquired players named
• The man behind Clemens, Pettitte bombshells
• Munson: Legal challenges troublesome
• Fish: Congress reacts quickly to report
• Helyar: Anti-doping experts don't agree on report
• Nelson: Fehr, MLBPA kept in dark on report
• Neyer: Non-surprising names
• Neyer: Scout's telling take on Gagne
Video• Complete coverage
Audio• David Justice on The Herd
• Best of Mike & Mike, on report's fallout
• PTI discussion over report's release
• Michael Kay Show
• ESPN.com's Keith Law
SportsNation• SportsNation reacts to Mitchell report
• What do you think of it?
• Fan blogs: How fans are reacting
More• Mitchell investigation timeline
• Kirk Radomski timeline
• List of suspended MLB players