Clemens, Pettitte deny allegations

October 02, 2006|By Ben Bolch | Ben Bolch,Los Angeles Times

ATLANTA -- Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte denied allegations that they had used performance-enhancing drugs, with Clemens saying he was angry and Pettitte saying he was embarrassed by a report that first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

"I'm not embarrassed at all," Clemens said in the Houston clubhouse yesterday before the Astros were eliminated from playoff contention during a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. "I'm angry about it. It just shouldn't happen."

Clemens and Pettitte, his Astros teammate, were among six players named in a federal agent's affidavit connected to former teammate Jason Grimsley. A source revealed to The Times names on the affidavit that originally had been blacked out when the document was filed in federal court.

Clemens called the act of leaking the names "very dangerous and malicious and reckless" and said he would consider legal action if one of his sponsors decided to drop him as a client as a result of the allegations.

The Astros pitchers said they had heard rumors that their names were included in the affidavit several months ago but didn't know for sure until The Times' report surfaced Saturday night. The other players named on the affidavit were Orioles Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts, Jay Gibbons and former Oriole David Segui.

"I'm stunned, obviously," Pettitte said. "To tell you the truth, I would have bet my life that there was no way possible my name could even be on the affidavit."

Clemens and Pettitte reiterated that they had never tested positive for any banned substance under Major League Baseball's three-year-old testing policy, and Clemens said he had passed what he described as "more strenuous" Olympics-style testing for the World Baseball Classic.

"I've been tested plenty of times," said Clemens, 44. "My physicals I've taken, they've taken my blood work [and] I've passed every test anybody wants."

Pettitte, 34, said he was especially disappointed because, "I absolutely killed myself over my career to work as hard as I possibly can to be as good as I possibly can and have it done natural."

Clemens and Pettitte were Grimsley's teammates with the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000 but said they never worked out with the journeyman relief pitcher, who retired earlier this summer after acknowledging his use of steroids, amphetamines and other drugs, according to the affidavit.

However, Clemens and Pettitte acknowledged an ongoing relationship with former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee, whom Grimsley told investigators in the affidavit had helped Grimsley obtain amphetamines, steroids and human growth hormones through a third party. Clemens worked with McNamee during spring training and called him "one of the best" trainers; Pettitte said he still talks to McNamee about once a week.

"Mac has trained me professionally for a long time and I'll continue to use Mac," Pettitte said. "He's one of a kind."

Pettitte also described his relationship with Grimsley, a fellow Texan, in glowing terms, calling Grimsley "a very close friend of mine" when they were Yankees teammates.

"When he was with the Royals or the Orioles and I played against him," Pettitte said of Grimsley, "I would go back and give him a hug and say, `How's the family doing?'"

Houston players and club officials seemed irritated by the accusations, especially considering the fact that they surfaced at a time when the Astros needed to beat the Braves in their regular-season finale to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. It helped that neither Clemens nor Pettitte was the scheduled starter yesterday.

Ben Bolch writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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