Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Roger Clemens spoke under oath for about five hours to congressional lawyers yesterday, then said he told them he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.
"I just want to thank the committee, the staff that I just met with. They were very courteous," Clemens said after emerging from the offices of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
"It was great to be able to tell them what I've been saying all along -- that I've never used steroids or growth hormone," the seven-time Cy Young Award winner said.
Clemens did not take questions from reporters. Carrying a black briefcase and accompanied by two attorneys, Clemens headed to an elevator to exit the building.
Someone down the marble hallway at the Rayburn House Office Building yelled out the pitcher's nickname, "Rocket!" That drew a quick wave of a hand from Clemens as he stepped into the wood-paneled elevator.
The 45-year-old pitcher ranks eighth in major league history with 354 career wins. He put off retirement yet again in 2007, returning to the Yankees in June and going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA.
His closed-door, sworn testimony on Capitol Hill came one day after his Yankees teammate and workout partner, Andy Pettitte, gave a deposition to committee staff for 2 1/2 hours.
Both players' interviews are part of preparation for a Feb. 13 hearing, a public session expected to focus on allegations made in the Mitchell report by trainer Brian McNamee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with human growth hormone and steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
"I look forward to being here, I guess in this room, next week," Clemens said in his 25-second statement after the deposition.
He has chosen various ways to strongly deny what McNamee said, including a taped TV interview, a live news conference and, repeatedly, through his lawyers.
Yesterday's deposition was the first time Clemens addressed the allegations under oath -- meaning it also was the first time he faced legal risk if he were to make false statements.
This is the same House panel that asked the Justice Department last month to look into whether 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada lied when he told committee investigators in 2005 that he never took performance- enhancing drugs and had no knowledge of other players using or talking about steroids. The FBI's field office in Washington is handling that inquiry.
-- From News Services