Nitkowski questioned in Clemens case
NEW YORK -- Former Yankees pitcher C.J. Nitkowski was interviewed nearly two weeks ago by federal agents as part of their investigation into whether Roger Clemens committed perjury when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Nitkowski never played with Clemens, but worked out with him and Andy Pettitte with trainer Brian McNamee -- Clemens' primary accuser -- at the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's home in Houston. Nitkowski told The Associated Press on Friday that he didn't have much to offer in regard to any perjury case, but "I willingly answered all of the FBI's questions."
The Daily News first reported Friday that the FBI had questioned Nitkowski, who was told not to share details of what was discussed during the meeting. The 35-year-old Nitkowski, who pitched for the Yankees in 2004, also said the FBI told him they would contact him if they had any further questions.
"I have never seen Roger or Andy take any illegal performance-enhancing drugs," Nitkowski told the AP. "I have never talked to either of them about PEDs, nor do I have any firsthand knowledge of them taking any PEDs."
McNamee has told federal agents, Major League Baseball investigator George Mitchell and a congressional committee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 to 2001.
He also met two weeks ago with Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Butler, who presented evidence to the federal grand jury determining whether Clemens should be indicted on charges of lying to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Meanwhile, Pettitte has acknowledged taking human growth hormone injections from McNamee while recovering from an injury and told congressional lawyers that Clemens informed him nearly a decade ago that he used HGH.
Nitkowski, who was leaving Saturday for South Korea, where he'll pitch this season, is one of several people with ties to Clemens who have been interviewed since a criminal referral was handed up to the Department of Justice last February.
While not accusing Clemens of any wrongdoing, Nitkowski wrote an editorial for the AP in December 2007 defending McNamee. He was interviewed by investigators for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before Clemens and McNamee appeared before Congress last year.
Nitkowski said at that time that he met McNamee while he was with the Detroit Tigers in 1995 and trained with him beginning after the 2001 season and until 2006.
"My role has always been and continues to be someone who knew Mac well, trained with him and could speak to his character as a trainer," Nitkowski said.
Nitkowski, who has pitched for several major league teams in 10 seasons, including the Mets, Tigers, Reds and Astros, spent the last two years with Japan's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He'll pitch for the SK Wyverns this season in Incheon, South Korea.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press