WASHINGTON – Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee brought their vastly different stories to Capitol Hill on Thursday, when the star pitcher was meeting one-on-one informally with congressmen and his former personal trainer arrived for a sworn deposition with House lawyers.
McNamee did not speak to reporters on his way into the offices of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — and Clemens did not comment as he walked into the office of Rep. John Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat on the committee. Both Clemens and McNamee were accompanied by lawyers.
It was the seven-time Cy Young Award winner Clemens' denials of McNamee's allegations in the Mitchell Report about drug use that drew Congress' attention.
Clemens, who gave a deposition Tuesday, was scheduled to meet with a dozen congressmen Thursday and Friday, including Rep. Tom Davis, the committee's ranking Republican, according to a schedule released by Clemens' camp. Committee chairman Henry Waxman was not listed on the schedule.
"He wanted to have that chance to look them in the eye," said Joe Householder, a spokesman for Clemens' attorneys. "He just wants to sit down and say exactly what he said to you all and exactly what he said at the deposition, which is, 'I never took steroids. I never took human growth hormone,' and just answer questions."
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 Tuesday.
On Wednesday, word emerged that McNamee's side 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 human growth hormone, 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.
Lanny Breuer, one of Clemens' lawyers, called McNamee's allegations "desperate smears" and said the trainer "apparently has manufactured evidence."
"It is just not credible," Breuer said in a statement issued Wednesday. "Who in their right mind does such a thing?"
Richard Emery, another of McNamee's lawyers, said 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 that he again denied using performance-enchancing drugs. By denying under oath that he used performance-enhancing drugs, Clemens put himself at legal risk.
McNamee, also a former personal trainer for Yankees pitcher Andy 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. Because the items were turned over several years after the events under discussion, Clemens' side could challenge whether they were tampered with.
"Brian McNamee is obviously a troubled man who is obsessed with doing everything possible to destroy Roger Clemens," Breuer said. "McNamee lied to the police who were investigating him for sexual assault, he lied to Senator Mitchell, he lied to the federal government, and now he apparently has manufactured evidence. He has changed his story repeatedly on this matter. He claims to love Roger Clemens, he says he modeled being a father on Roger Clemens, he said Roger treated him like family — but he now claims he kept blood, gauze, and needles from Roger Clemens for seven years. It defies all sensibility."
Emery said it was unnecessary for McNamee's side to persuade the Justice Department that the evidence was authentic.
"They'll decide themselves what they believe is the case and make their own decisions based on the facts as they have it. All we know is what we believe is the truth," he said.
Clemens and McNamee are to testify at a committee hearing next Wednesday along with Pettitte, former Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch and Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant who pleaded guilty in April to felony charges of distributing steroids and laundering money. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in federal court in San Francisco.
"Roger is looking forward to testifying before Congress next week to set the record straight," Breuer said. "He will not waiver, nor will he shrink from this because he is telling the truth. We ask all fair-minded people to listen. It is time for Brian McNamee to be subject to the same scrutiny as Roger Clemens."