An ex-Major League Baseball player testified on Tuesday that he witnessed former pitching ace Roger Clemens being injected with a vitamin as Clemens' defense sought to undermine prosecution claims he received performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens, 49, is on trial for the second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform when he denied having used performance-enhancing drugs. The committee was investigating drug use in Major League Baseball.
The core of the government's case against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner for best pitcher has been testimony from his former trainer Brian McNamee, who says he personally injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.
Clemens has said that McNamee injected him with shots of a liquid form of vitamin B-12, used to help ward off sickness, and the anesthetic lidocaine instead.
Mike Boddicker, a former pitcher who played with Clemens on the Boston Red Sox, testified that he walked in on Clemens getting a shot in the buttocks from a trainer of vitamin B-12, in either 1989 or 1990.
Prosecutors previously tried to debunk Clemens' claims that he received shots of the vitamin, not drugs, with testimony from an ex-Yankees trainer that the vitamin was kept under lock and key and that McNamee, Clemens' strength and conditioning coach while he played for the Yankees, would did not have had authority to give injections of it.
Boddicker said trainers at the Boston Red Sox administered shots of the vitamin.
"It was pretty commonplace for trainers to give shots back then," Boddicker said.
Boddicker, who also played for the Baltimore Orioles, said he believed he witnessed Clemens receiving a vitamin B-12 injection because a vial with the label for the vitamin was on the table next to Clemens, and the trainer asked if Boddicker also wanted a shot.
Prosecutors have sought to link Clemens to syringes and cotton balls and other medical waste that McNamee says came from an injection of performance-enhancing drugs in 2001.
Clemens' lawyers have tried to prove that the former pitcher's stunning late-career success was the product of hard work and smart pitching, not performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens won his seventh Cy Young Award in 2004 - the summer he turned 42 - in his first season with the Houston Astros, after ending the season with an impressive 2.98 earned run average.
Jury deliberations for the trial, which is in its 8th week, could begin next week, said Judge Reggie Walton who is presiding over the case. Court proceedings began on April 16.
Clemens' first trial ended last year in a mistrial.
(Reporting By Lily Kuo; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)