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AP Sources: Grand jury looking at Clemens' case

Monday, January 12, 2009

By HOWARD FENDRICH

AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON -- A federal grand jury is investigating whether Roger Clemens lied to Congress last year, two people briefed on the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret.

Congress asked the Justice Department to look into whether the seven-time Cy Young Award winner lied last February when he testified under oath at a deposition and a public House hearing that he never took illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

That contradicted the sworn testimony of his former personal trainer Brian McNamee, who said under oath that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.

By bringing the case to a grand jury, the Justice Department escalated the case from an FBI investigation. A grand jury allows prosecutors to get sworn testimony from witnesses and collect documents.

The grand jury's involvement first was reported by ESPN.com.

McNamee's lawyer, Richard Emery, said Monday his client has not been called as a grand jury witness or received a subpoena. But he does expect McNamee to testify again.

"We will be cooperating. We've been in contact with the federal authorities for a year and a half," Emery said. "We look forward to the results, which we fully expect will show that Brian has been telling the truth all along."

In the Mitchell Report on doping in baseball, McNamee said he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and HGH from 1998-01. Clemens' repeated denials of those accusations drew Congress' attention -- and the former pitcher then made more denials under oath.

Shaun Kelley, owner of a Houston training center, said he had taken a polygraph test for FBI investigators John Longmire and Heather Young last April and that he had denied meeting Clemens or providing the pitcher or any of the pitcher's associates with illegal substances. Kelley said he employed Clemens' stepsister Bonnie Owens for about a year.

Kelley said neither he nor his lawyers had been contacted by the grand jury.

"It is just not fair for me, because they just come down here and throw me under the bus, and I lose half-a-million of business," Kelly said Monday in a telephone interview.

"I know in my heart I passed it," he said of the polygraph, "but the FBI is not known for admitting their mistakes."

The investigation could pose an interesting ethics puzzle for President-elect Barack Obama's incoming team at the Justice Department.

Lawyer Lanny Breuer is expected to be announced any day as Obama's pick to lead the department's criminal division. Breuer was hired by Clemens last year as he prepared for the congressional investigation that has now resulted in a criminal investigation.

When he was hired in January 2008, Breuer said he was "honored" to join the legal team "representing one of the greatest pitchers and athletes in history."

Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Clemens, could not immediately be reached for comment. Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chaired the House committee that heard the testimony of Clemens and McNamee last year, declined to comment.

It was Waxman's Feb. 27 memo that outlined the reasons the panel referred Clemens to the Justice Department, summarizing "seven sets of assertions made by Mr. Clemens in his testimony that appear to be contradicted by other evidence before the committee or implausible."

Those areas involve Clemens' testimony that he has "never taken steroids or HGH"; that McNamee injected him with the painkiller lidocaine; that team trainers gave him pain injections; that he received many vitamin B-12 injections; that he never discussed HGH with McNamee; that he was not at then-teammate Jose Canseco's home from June 8-10, 1998, when their Toronto Blue Jays played a series at the Florida Marlins; and that he was "never told" about baseball investigator George Mitchell's request to speak to Clemens before issuing the report containing McNamee's allegations.

Clemens last played in the major leagues in 2007, with the New York Yankees.


Associated Press Writers Matt Apuzzo and Devlin Barrett in Washington and AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.



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