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Nov 9, 2012 9:06pm
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WASHINGTON —Speaking softly, nervously and in detail, Brian McNamee testified
about the life-changing moment when, he said, he first gave Roger Clemens a
“booty shot” of steroids. Aaron Hernandez Jersey . The governments star
witness in the Clemens perjury retrial took the stand Monday and told the jury
that he injected one of baseballs most successful pitchers with steroids about
eight to 10 times when they were with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998. “I knew
what I was doing was illegal,” McNamee said. “I wish to God I could take it
back.” Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he testified in 2008 that
he had never used steroids or human growth hormone. The first attempt to try him
last July ended in a mistrial when prosecutors showed the jury a snippet of
videotaped evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. The retrial took until its
fifth week to get to the heart of the governments case: McNamee is the only
person who will claim firsthand knowledge of Clemens using performance-enhancing
drugs. In his thick New York accent, McNamee covered a lot of ground in about
four hours on the stand—and he still has much more to tell when he returns
Tuesday. He recalled how he met Clemens when McNamee was the strength and
conditioning coach of the Blue Jays during the 1998 season. He said Clemens gave
him a $1,000 tip at the end of spring training, that Clemens approached him one
day in the clubhouse and asked him to get rid of a bag of some 20 to 30 bottles
of steroids. Then came the fateful day in June when he was asked by Clemens to
come to Clemens apartment in the Blue Jays SkyDome stadium after a game. McNamee
said he found alcohol, needle and gauze and the anabolic steroid Winstrol laid
out in the bathroom. He said he felt “a little uncomfortable” while preparing
the shot because hed never done anything like it before. He said he then walked
into Clemens bedroom. “Roger pulled down his pants, exposing his right buttocks
cheek to me,” McNamee said. A few seconds later, Clemens said he was ready.
McNamee said he then “plunged the fluid in into his buttocks.” After it was
done, they “exchanged pleasantries,” according to McNamee. “That,” McNamee
concluded softly, “was the first time I injected Roger Clemens.” McNamee said he
didnt feel good about the moment, but he got the sense that Clemens “wasnt good
at doing the booty shot.” “I did it,” McNamee said, “because I wanted to help
and I wanted to keep my player safe. ... I wasnt under the assumption that was
the first time he did that.” McNamee recited details of another injection later
in the season, one he said he gave Clemens in a hurry in a small supply room in
the Tampa Bay clubhouse on the getaway day of a road trip. McNamee was so
concerned about being discovered that he pressed his foot against the closed
door while giving the shot. McNamee said the injections stopped after Clemens
developed an abscess on his buttocks later in the season. He said Clemens walked
by and “threw a whole bag (of steroids) at my locker and said, Im done with it.”
McNamee recalled some scenes meticulously; other times he was more vague. He
occasionally fidgeted with his white shirt or tan jacket and sometimes took long
pauses before answering questions. It took him a few seconds to recall his
wedding date—perhaps understandable, given hes going through a divorce—and
he initially said three months, instead of three years, when asked how long he
worked for the New York Police Department before becoming a bullpen catcher and
batting practice pitcher for the New York Yankees in the mid-1990s. McNamee was
barely audible the first time he uttered the word “Roger.” He and Clemens were
once good friends; he worked with Clemens for the better part of a decade, in an
official capacity with the Blue Jays and later with the Yankees, and also as a
personal trainer who would run Clemens through demanding workouts, often at
Clemens home in Texas. Clemens watched intently from the defence table,
occasionally taking notes or reading materials. When McNamee returns to the
stand Tuesday, hes expected to testify that he injected Clemens with
performance-enhancing drugs in 2000 and 2001. The prosecution is also expected
to head off, as best it can, an upcoming cross-examination that is expected to
attack McNamees integrity. The defence wants to paint McNamee as a serial liar
out for personal gain. The two sides spent the morning arguing over which parts
of McNamees personal life can be revealed in front of the jury. U.S. District
Judge Reggie Walton quashed a Clemens subpoena for McNamees divorce records,
saying it was a “fishing expedition” to look for information to disparage
McNamee. The judge did rule that Clemens team could bring up evidence of
McNamees alleged alcohol problems, including two convictions for driving under
the influence. Walton also said that if the defence had evidence that McNamee
had obtained prescription drugs online without a prescription, that too could be
mentioned. But the judge said again that defence lawyers may not mention that
McNamee was investigated for an alleged sexual assault over a 2001 incident at a
St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel involving a woman who was found to have a date rape
drug in her system. Walton said the defence could refer to it only as a “serious
criminal investigation.” The defence will be able to say that McNamee lied to
investigators during that investigation. Charges were never filed in the case.
The day began with the government winning a significant battle about the
testimony of former Clemens teammate Andy Pettitte. Pettitte testified about a
conversation 12 years ago in which Clemens supposedly admitted to using HGH
but then acknowledged under cross-examination there was a “50-50” chance he
might have misunderstood Clemens remark. The defence wanted the judge to strike
Pettittes testimony about the conversation, but Walton ruled that it will be up
to the jury to decide how much weight to give it.