McNamee says telling truth only option
NEW YORK -- Brian McNamee says he couldn't risk lying to federal agents when they asked him about Roger Clemens and performance-enhancing drugs.
McNamee, the pitcher's former trainer, spoke on "The Howard Stern Show" on Monday as a federal grand jury in Washington looks into whether Clemens lied to Congress.
It wasn't worth that risk of that being over my head for six years -- that's the term they have to investigate you and convene a grand jury.” -- Brian McNamee
"You just think of circumstances," McNamee said. "It wasn't worth that risk of that being over my head for six years -- that's the term they have to investigate you and convene a grand jury."
McNamee declined comment after leaving Stern's studio. He has told federal agents, baseball investigator George Mitchell and a House of Representatives committee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.
McNamee said he doesn't believe he violated Clemens' loyalty by confessing to authorities. His business was doing well independent of his work with the pitcher, McNamee said, though he acknowledged his affiliation with Clemens helped his credibility.
"It wasn't a financial thing for me to work with Clemens," McNamee said.
"Were we friends?" McNamee added. "I think there was a little bit of an arm's distance we kept."
McNamee was promoting a Web site he is affiliated with, sportsimproper.com, and appeared on the radio show with the site's "spokesmodel," Mai Tran.
Stern conceded he didn't know much about the Clemens case. The approximately 45-minute interview was more classic Stern than ESPN, complete with innuendo-laced questions about McNamee injecting Clemens' wife with HGH.
Asked if Clemens would have been a Hall of Famer without performance-enhancing drugs, McNamee said, "He left Boston in '96; if he never played after '96, he was a Hall of Famer."
The latest star player to be linked to steroids is Alex Rodriguez, who according to an SI.com report tested positive in 2003.
"I would hope it's not true, just for the sake of the game," McNamee said. "But it's something he's going to have to seriously contemplate coming up with a decision of how to approach it if it is true."
As other players have shown, he said, honesty works best.
Asked if his life was ruined, McNamee said, "No."
Is he broke? "I'm on the fence."
He said he had work opportunities but it's difficult to follow through because of all the publicity.
"You get caught up in a culture," said McNamee, a former New York City cop. "I made a mistake. I wouldn't do it again. It was stupid. I never made money off it."
McNamee said he was trying to keep a low profile, though he conceded the Stern interview contradicted that. At dinner Sunday night, he wasn't pleased that three strangers came up to him asking about A-Rod.
"I'm a very private person," he said. "I never wanted the limelight. I was thrust into this."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press