<
>

Clemens' ex-trainer McNamee talks with U.S. attorney, IRS agent

1/14/2008 - MLB New York Yankees

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens' accuser met for about three hours
Thursday with federal prosecutors investigating
performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

Brian McNamee, the pitcher's former trainer, talked with
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella and IRS Special Agent Jeff
Novitzky about the events that led up to his phone call last week
with the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, a person familiar with
the session said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorized to disclose details.

The meeting took place at the office of Earl Ward, one of
McNamee's lawyers. Parrella and Novitzky, part of the BALCO
prosecution team that has indicted Barry Bonds for perjury and
obstruction of justice, were in the area for Friday's sentencing of
former track star Marion Jones.

Clemens and McNamee have been asked to testify Feb. 13 before
the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, two of Clemens' former teammates,
also have been asked to testify along with Kirk Radomski, the
former New York Mets clubhouse attendant who pleaded guilty to
distributing steroids to major league players.

Jones pleaded guilty in October to lying about her steroid use
and lying about a check-fraud scheme. She is to be sentenced in
federal court in White Plains.

McNamee told prosecutors and baseball investigator George
Mitchell last year that he injected Clemens with steroids and human
growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001, an accusation Clemens has
denied. Clemens' legal team recorded Friday's 17-minute telephone
conversation between the pitcher and McNamee, and they played the
recording during their news conference Monday in Houston.

The call did not contain any conclusive evidence as to who was
telling the truth.

Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers, declined to comment on
Thursday's meeting or even whether it took place.

Clemens sued McNamee for defamation on Sunday in Texas state
court. McNamee has held off on filing his own suit against the
seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

"We still want to see what he has to say before Congress,"
Emery said.

Clemens' side has accused McNamee of trying to avoid getting
served with the suit.

"Nobody is avoiding service. That is an absolute fabrication,"
Emery said. "If he has a stupid, incompetent process server, that
doesn't mean that Brian is avoiding service."

When the hearing was postponed Wednesday from Jan. 16 to Feb.
13, the committee said it wanted to take depositions from the five.
Lawyers for the five are speaking with committee staff about
setting up the depositions.

"We've asked to meet with the committee staff and discuss all
that, and we're waiting to hear back from them," said Rusty
Hardin, Clemens' lawyer.

"We're working on making whatever logistical arrangements are
necessary," Emery said.

McNamee has an agreement with prosecutors that no charges would
be filed against him as long as he told the truth to them and
Mitchell. His lawyers have asked Congress for immunity when he
testifies. Clemens' lawyers have said their client will not ask for
immunity.

Hardin questioned Wednesday why McNamee was seeking immunity
from Congress.

"I think it's disgraceful that Hardin would try and spin the
fact that Brian is requesting immunity equal to that which the
Northern District of California already has given him," Emery
said. "Brian has forthrightly and honestly admitted distributing
steroids and has thereby subjected himself potentially to federal
prosecution for which he is asking for immunity and for which has
received immunity from the Northern District of California. Before
he testifies in Congress, he has to be sure that he has the
equivalent protection, but he's not asking for any protection from
perjury."

Also, union head Donald Fehr said that there had been a
preliminary discussion with management about the Mitchell report's
recommendations.

"Nothing substantive," Fehr said.