Clemens 'almost numb', grants '60 Minutes' interview

Updated: December 24, 2007, 8:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

In a video posted on his official Web site, Roger Clemens said that he has become "almost numb" to the steroid accusations against him in the Mitchell report and that he has granted an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" in an effort to clear his name.

CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said the interview is scheduled to air Jan. 6.

"Over the last 15 days, it's been extremely difficult, for my family, my children, my extended family," Clemens said. "I'm holding up better than they are. I'm almost numb to some of these suggestions that I used steroids. It's amazing to me that I'm going to lengths that I'm going to have to defend myself."

It is Clemens' first public comments on the Mitchell report. He had earlier proclaimed his innocence in a statement released by his agent.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner said he was vindicated when a 2006 Los Angeles Times report linking him to an affidavit listing several players alleged to have used performance-enhancing drugs was revealed to be inaccurate.

Let me be clear: The answer is no, I did not use steroids, human growth hormone, and I've never done so. I did not provide Brian McNamee with any drugs to inject into my body. Brian McNamee did not inject steroids or human growth hormone into my body, either when I played in Toronto for the Blue Jays, or the New York Yankees. This report is simply not true.

--Roger Clemens

Clemens' name did not appear in the document, as was previously reported. The paper issued a front page apology.

"I faced this last year when the L.A. Times reported that I used steroids. I said it was not true then. Now, the whole world knows it's not true now that that's come out.

"It's surfaced again later now with this Mitchell report. Let me be clear: The answer is no, I did not use steroids, human growth hormone, and I've never done so. I did not provide Brian McNamee with any drugs to inject into my body. Brian McNamee did not inject steroids or human growth hormone into my body, either when I played in Toronto for the Blue Jays, or the New York Yankees. This report is simply not true."

Another former McNamee client, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, said recently 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.

"He stands 100 percent behind the accuracy of the information he provided to Sen. Mitchell," McNamee's lawyer, Ed Ward, said in a recent statement.

Ward told The New York Daily News that McNamee would be willing to one day sit down with Clemens and explain his side of the story.

"Brian would be open to it, certainly," Ward told the newspaper. "I don't know if Roger would. But Brian would be open to it because he knows what he's been saying all along is honest and truthful and he'd want Roger to understand he was obligated to tell the truth.

"The bottom line is he did not want to implicate a friend and a baseball icon in a steroid scandal," Ward added. "He was asked to tell the truth and he has. That's always been his position since Day 1."

Baseball players and owners didn't have an agreement banning steroids until September 2002. They banned HGH in January 2005.

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.

"I'm angry about it," Clemens said, referring to the Mitchell report. "It's hurtful to me and my family. But we are coming upon Christmas now and I have been blessed in my life. I've been blessed in my career and I'm very thankful for those blessings."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.