WASHINGTON -- The latest chapter in the Roger Clemens saga played out behind closed doors Thursday with admitted steroids supplier Kirk Radomski appearing before a federal grand jury that is considering whether to bring a perjury indictment against the pitching icon.
Clemens landed in the legal crosshairs last February when he told Congress that he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his career, contradicting testimony from his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee. It was Radomski who supplied the steroids and human growth hormone that McNamee told Congress he used to inject pro baseball players he trained, including Clemens.
Radomski, a former New York Mets clubhouse attendant sentenced to five years' probation a year ago after pleading guilty to distributing steroids and laundering money, was in front of the grand jury for less than an hour Thursday morning. He was questioned by assistant U.S. attorney Daniel P. Butler, the lead prosecutor pursuing a possible indictment against Clemens.
Butler refused to shed light on grand jury developments as he left the room, saying only "I'm going to lunch."
"I can't comment on an ongoing investigation," Radomski told ESPN.com before leaving Washington. "I don't want to do anything to cross them up."
Radomski was interviewed by Butler on Wednesday afternoon and met again with him in his office Thursday before the grand jury appearance. Wearing a black, short-length winter coat and a blue shirt and tie, Radomski entered the double doors leading to the restricted third-floor grand jury rooms just before 11 a.m.
The grand jury in the Clemens case convenes every Tuesday and Thursday to consider a variety of possible criminal indictments, not just evidence involving the seven-time Cy Young Award winner. It is uncertain how long it has been hearing evidence related to Clemens or what other witnesses have been subpoenaed to appear.
Radomski has been supportive of McNamee in the past, telling ESPN.com last February, "I believe him over Clemens and his lawyers. I think he is very believable. He was a cop. He knows the consequences of lying. He has more to lose than to gain by lying."
He said he met McNamee, who like himself lived in the New York area, through a ballplayer. They occasionally met for lunch or worked out together. He also trained some of McNamee's clients, mostly business types looking to stay fit.
Radomski said he knew the performance-enhancing drugs sold to McNamee were intended for his baseball-playing clients, though he never asked specifics.
Federal agents raided Radomski's Long Island home in December 2005, uncovering evidence that he supplied anabolic steroids and HGH to hundreds of baseball players beginning in 1995. Last July, Radomski discovered and turned over to federal investigators an overnight shipping receipt for a package of two kits of HGH that he sent after the 2002 season, in care of McNamee, to Clemens at the pitcher's Houston home.
McNamee was scheduled to meet here Tuesday afternoon with federal prosecutors, but the interview was postponed. That session, according to a source, has been rescheduled for Friday.
Richard Emery, an attorney representing McNamee, said his client has not yet been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury. "I assume he will, but I don't know,'' Emery said Thursday night. "I assume he will be a significant witness.''
The session Friday is likely to be a private session with Butler and perhaps federal investigators.
"I knew who his guys were, but I never asked questions," Radomski said last year of McNamee. "I didn't want to know. Can I assume? I can assume anything, but that is not my deal. He could have took the stuff and threw it out the window -- what do I know? But if Brian is saying this stuff [about injecting Clemens and pitcher Andy Pettitte], then I have to take Brian for his word."
Pettitte, a longtime friend and teammate of Clemens, has admitted receiving HGH injections. And, in an affidavit given congressional staff under penalty of perjury, Pettitte said Clemens admitted during a conversation in 1999 or 2000 that he used HGH. Pettitte could be a witness if Clemens ever were to go to trial on perjury, though it is believed he has not yet appeared before the grand jury.
The grand jury convened in response to a referral last February by Congress asking the Justice Department to investigate Clemens' sworn statements in a deposition and his testimony during a committee hearing. At that time, Clemens told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he had never taken anabolic steroids or HGH, though he had received in the past injections of vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine. Just weeks before, McNamee alleged in the Mitchell report that he had injected the pitching great with steroids and HGH.
Almost a year ago, Clemens told lawmakers and a national TV audience, "I appreciate the opportunity to tell this committee and the public -- under oath -- what I have been saying all along: I have never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I think these types of drugs should play no role in athletics at any level, and I fully support Sen. Mitchell's conclusions that steroids have no place in baseball. However, I take great issue with the report's allegations that I used these substances. Let me be clear again: I did not."
Mike Fish is an investigative reporter for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.