McNamee's lawyers granted motion to move suit to federal court

Updated: February 12, 2008, 1:37 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Roger Clemens' defamation lawsuit against his former trainer, Brian McNamee, over his claims of injecting the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with performance-enhancing drugs has been moved to federal court.

Clemens filed the suit last month in Harris County District Court in Houston.

But Monday, McNamee's attorneys had it moved to Houston federal court. In their motion, his attorneys wrote the court has jurisdiction because the case is between residents of two states and that Clemens likely will seek more than $75,000 in damages -- two criteria needed for a transfer to federal court.

The initial pretrial conference is set for April 4.

In the Mitchell report, McNamee claimed he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone at least 16 times in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens claimed in his suit that the statements McNamee made were "untrue and defamatory."

McNamee's attorneys have not filed their response to Clemens' suit.

Clemens and McNamee are set to testify before a congressional hearing Wednesday on the Mitchell report, which looked at the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press