Star pitcher Clemens back on Hill to meet with congressmen


Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee brought their vastly different stories to Capitol Hill today, when the star pitcher met one-on-one with congressmen informally and his former personal trainer met with House lawyers for a sworn deposition.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner's denials of McNamee's allegations in the Mitchell Report about drug use drew Congress' attention.

McNamee did not speak to reporters on his way into the offices of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Clemens made brief comments as he walked through marble hallways to go to various offices of representatives on the committee. Clemens and McNamee were accompanied by lawyers.

"I'm just glad they made time in their schedule so I can go by and talk to them today," Clemens said shortly before stepping through the wood double doors to the office of Rep. Tom Davis, the committee's ranking Republican.

About a minute later, committee chairman Henry Waxman entered the office.

"I'm ready for Wednesday to get here," Clemens said earlier, referring to the committee's public hearing next week, when he, McNamee and other witnesses, including current New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, are to testify.

In former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's report on doping in baseball, released in December, McNamee said he injected Clemens 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens has repeatedly denied those accusations, including, he said, under oath during his deposition with committee lawyers Tuesday.

Clemens was to visit about a dozen congressmen today and Friday, according to a schedule released by Clemens' camp.

"Because the perception out there was so strong originally that he did it and was lying, he's going to extra steps to try and persuade and make people comfortable with the fact that he didn't do it. He's having to take extraordinary measures because the allegations are extraordinary," one of Clemens' lawyers, Rusty Hardin, said outside Tierney's office.

Hardin said Clemens was meeting with individual representatives "to assure them privately the same thing he's saying publicly &

that he didn't take steroids, and he didn't take human growth hormone, and he's here to talk to anybody about it who wants to."

On Wednesday, word emerged that McNamee's representatives turned over gauze pads and syringes they said had Clemens' blood to IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky in early January, a person familiar with the evidence said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McNamee's lawyers did not want to publicly discuss details. The syringes were used to inject Clemens with steroids and HGH, the person said. A second person, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the evidence was from 2000 and 2001. "I think this is a significant point in the case. We believe that this is significant corroboration," McNamee's lead lawyer, Earl Ward, said Wednesday.

Hardin, though, scoffed today when asked if he was worried about the physical evidence.

"Find a prosecutor or a judge that would ever see this as evidence, all right? This is waste material. In fact, I think we're going to file a complaint with the health department," Hardin said.

"McNamee really did us a great favor yesterday because it truly revealed what he's out to do &

and that's to destroy Roger," Hardin added.

Richard Emery, another of McNamee's lawyers, said Wednesday the committee was going to be given a description of the evidence that was turned over to prosecutors. "It does change the nature of the case from a he-said, she-said to something about physical evidence," Emery said.

Doping expert Don Catlin said steroids still could be detected in a sample that old.

"But if you don't find it, it doesn't mean it wasn't there before," said Catlin, who added there are sure to be chain-of-custody issues. He said HGH would be much less stable.

Keith Ausbrook, the committee's Republican general counsel, told The Associated Press the committee was not aware that such physical evidence existed.

"Unknown and unexpected evidence comes in at all times in any investigation," Ausbrook wrote in an e-mail. "We will still need to examine McNamee's evidence and hear what he has to say."

After his five-hour sworn deposition Tuesday, Clemens said he again denied using performance-enchancing drugs. It was the first time he had addressed the allegations under oath, and therefore the first time he put himself at legal risk if he were to make false statements.

McNamee, also a former personal trainer for Pettitte, told Mitchell that he injected Pettitte with HGH. Pettitte confirmed in December that he used HGH for two days. Emery said McNamee's legal team planned to hold a news conference following their client's deposition to discuss the evidence in greater detail.

AP Sports Writer Joseph White and Associated Press Writer Sarah Karush in Washington, AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York, and AP Sports Writer Eddie Pells in Denver contributed to this report.

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