May 29, 2012
Witness says he was told Clemens used drug
By Lily Kuo, REUTERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ex-trainer Brian McNamee, who says he injected performance-enhancing drugs into former pitching ace Roger Clemens, told a client that Clemens had used human growth hormone to recover more quickly from injuries and strains, the client testified on Tuesday.
Prosecution witness Anthony Corso’s testimony bolsters that of McNamee, a former strength and conditioning coach, whose allegations that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone have been the core of the government’s case.
Federal prosecutors claim the retired pitching star lied to a congressional panel when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“Mr McNamee had mentioned that Mr. Clemens was one of the athletes that he was getting positive results from him being able to push himself to limits ... using the medication to recover,” Corso, 49, testified.
Clemens’ lawyers sought to cast doubt on Corso’s testimony when the witness revealed he could not recall whether McNamee had mentioned Clemens during a conversation about s a ving syringes from players using the drugs.
Corso testified that McNamee had told him in or around 2005 that the trainer had saved syringes from players to avoid getting “thrown under the bus” should the drug usage be discovered but said McNamee had not named Clemens as one of those players.
According to prosecutors, Corso had told a grand jury in 2010 that McNamee claimed the syringes had been “used on Roger”.
“The two answers are different. So would it be a fair testimony ... that you made a mistake?” Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin asked.
“Yes,” Corso said.
Clemens’ attorneys have worked to paint McNamee as a liar who obtained immunity in exchange for his testimony.
McNamee has said that he saved medical waste from a 2001 injection of anabolic steroids into Clemens and turned the evidence in to authorities in 2008.
Clemens, 49, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher, is being tried for a second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating drug use in Major League Baseball. His first trial ended last year in a mistrial.