Clemens: Injections Were Vitamin B-12, Lidocaine

Roger Clemens, with trainer Brian McNamee in 2006, denies using steroids, human growth hormone.
Roger Clemens, with trainer Brian McNamee in 2006, denies using steroids, human growth hormone. (By Steven Senne -- Associated Press)
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By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 4, 2008

Superstar pitcher Roger Clemens told "60 Minutes" interviewer Mike Wallace that his former trainer, Brian McNamee, injected him with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine, but Clemens repeated previous assertions that he has never used steroids or human growth hormone, as McNamee has alleged.

"Swear?" Wallace asked Clemens at one point, according to a partial transcript of the show, which is to air Sunday night.

"Swear," Clemens responded.

Clemens, 45, was among the most prominent players named in the report issued Dec. 13 by former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell, who spent the previous 21 months investigating performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. All of the allegations against Clemens stemmed from testimony from McNamee, who told Mitchell's investigators he injected Clemens at least 16 times between 1998 and 2001 with steroids and human growth hormone.

McNamee also told Mitchell he injected pitcher Andy Pettitte, Clemens's close friend and former teammate, with HGH between two and four times in 2002, and Pettitte later admitted using the drug during that year.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, which was taped Dec. 28 at Clemens's home in Katy, Tex., Clemens calls McNamee's accusation "ridiculous." Previously, in a video statement posted on his Web site, Clemens said: "Let me be clear: The answer is no. I did not use steroids or human growth hormone, and I've never done so."

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic commonly used in injectable form in dental procedures, or applied topically to relieve itching, burning and pain from skin inflammations. B-12, commonly found in fish, meat, poultry and dairy products, helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, and is popular with Latin American players. When Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro failed a steroids test in 2005, he blamed the result on tainted B-12 supplements he received from then-teammate Miguel Tejada.

During the interview with Wallace, Clemens says the injections were "for my joints," and he says he continues to take B-12, despite being presently unsigned and potentially finished as a player.

Earl Ward, McNamee's attorney, said in a telephone interview yesterday that McNamee stands by his testimony to Mitchell.

"I talked to Brian" about the "60 Minutes" transcript, Ward said. "Brian has a master's degree in sports medicine, and he knows the difference between lidocaine and testosterone."

Ward also said McNamee is prepared to sue Clemens for libel if he "attacks" the trainer's credibility, but that such a decision would not be made until after the full interview airs.

"If [Clemens] goes on '60 Minutes' and calls Brian a liar," Ward said, "he can expect a lawsuit."

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

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