Statement Analysis®

Did Roger Clemens Use Steroids?

On February 13, 2008, Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee testified in Washington, D.C. before the House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The transcript of their testimony which was posted on a congressional website states, "This is a preliminary transcript of a Committee Hearing. It has not yet been subject to a review process to ensure that the statements within are appropriately attributed to the witness or member of Congress who made them, to determine whether there are any inconsistencies between the statements within and what was actually said at the proceeding, or to make any other corrections to ensure the accuracy of the record." Therefore, it is possible that some of the excerpts of Roger Clemens testimony that we are about to analyze may not be his exact words.

Mr. Cummings: Now, Mr. Clemens, I want to ask you just one thing. In his deposition, Mr. (Andy) Pettitte told the committee that he had a conversation with you in 1999 or 2000 in which you admitted that you used human growth hormones. Is this true?

Mr. Clemens: It is not.

Mr. Cummings: So you did not tell Mr. Pettitte at this time that you used human growth hormones?

Mr. Clemens: I did not.

Mr. Cummings: Now, Mr. Clemens, I reminded you that you are under oath. Mr. Clemens, do you think Mr. Pettitte was lying when he told the committee that you admitted using human growth hormones?

Mr. Clemens: Mr. Congressman, Andy Pettitte is my friend. He will -- he was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this. And again, I think Andy has misheard.

Mr. Cummings: I am sorry, I didn't hear you?

Mr. Clemens: I believe Andy has misheard, Mr. Congressman, on his comments about myself using HGH, which never happened.

Later in this line of questioning, Roger Clemens would state, "I think he misremembers our conversation."

Clemens answered the first two questions with a direct denial. This is want we want to see. Most of the time a deceptive person will not answer the specific question or he will qualify his answer.

Clemens says that Pettitte "misheard" or "misremembers" their conversation about HGH. However, Clemens qualifies his statements by using the words "think" and "believe." These type of qualifying phrases show Clemens has a lack of conviction in what he is saying.

In Andy Pettitte's deposition, he said that he and Roger Clemens had a conversation about HGH in 2005 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Mr. Cummings: Did you have a conversation with him (Andy Pettitte) to this effect?

Mr. Clemens: I don't believe I had a conversation in 2005 with him in Kissimmee, Florida. We would have been with the Houston Astros at the time. But I don't remember that conversation whatsoever.

Mr. Cummings then read a portion of Andy Pettitte's deposition.

Mr. Cummings: "In 2005, around the time of the congressional hearings into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in Kissimmee, Florida. I asked him what he would say if asked by reporters if he had ever used performance-enhancing drugs. When he asked what I meant, I reminded him that he had told me that he had used HGH. Roger responded by telling me that I must have misunderstood him. He claimed that it was his wife Debbie who used HGH; and I said, 'Okay,' or words to that effect, not because I agreed with him, but because I wasn't going to argue with him." Are you telling us under oath that it didn't happen, or are you saying you just don't remember it?

Mr. Clemens: I don't remember that.

Mr. Cummings: Now, the timeline is very important here. According to Mr. Pettitte, his first conversation with you, Mr. Clemens, occurred in 1999 or 2000. But you told us that your wife did not use HGH until 2003. That makes it impossible that you could have been referring to your wife's use of HGH in the first conversation.

The Congressman makes a good point. Clemens admitted that his wife took HGH in 2003. She was given the injection by Brian McNamee. Therefore, how could he be referring to his wife when he talked about HGH to Pettitte in 1999 or 2000? Clemens does not state that he did not have a conversation with Andy Pettitte about using steroids. He "believes" he did not have the conversation.

Mr. Mica: You don't think he is telling the truth then?

Mr. Clemens: Brian McNamee has never given me growth hormone or steroids.

Clemens gives an answer but he does not answer the specific question. To answer in the affirmative, the question requires an answer of "yes" or "That is correct." Clemens could have also said, "I know he is not telling the truth. He has never given me growth hormone or steroids."

Congresswoman Maloney reviews with Roger Clemens his deposition to Congress.

Ms. Maloney: And then you made this definitive statement, and I quote, "I had no idea that Senator Mitchell wanted to talk to me. If it was about baseball and steroids in general, I would have wanted to see him. And obviously, if I knew what Brian McNamee was saying about me in this report, I would have been there," end quote. So, Mr. Clemens, there were six times that you told our committee under oath that you had no idea that Mitchell wanted to talk to you. Yet you said on national television that you refused to talk to Senator Mitchell on the advice of your attorneys. So I have two questions about this. First, why did you give one explanation on "60 Minutes" for why you failed to talk to Senator Mitchell and a different explanation in the depositions before this committee?

Mr. Clemens: Congresswoman, the fact of the matter was I was never told by my baseball agent/attorney that we were asked to come down and see Senator Mitchell. Like you said in that statement, if I knew the lies that Brian McNamee was telling about me I would have been down there to see Senator Mitchell in a heartbeat, in a New York minute, if you will. I was never told about that. The Players Association, from my understanding, reached out to a lot of the players. I don't believe any player went down, other than, from what I understand, Jason Giambi; and it was relayed to Mr. Hendricks who -- you stated his name in that, my earlier testimony. It was never brought to me. From talking to Randy Hendricks and I believe the Players Association, in my situation, I had to answer allegations back in 2006 about an L.A. Times report.

Ms. Maloney points out that during his "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace, Clemens stated the reason he did not speak to George Mitchell's investigators was because, "I listened to my counsel. I was advised not to. A lot of the players did not go down and talk to him as well." This would seem to contradict his testimony before Congress which was "I had no idea that Senator Mitchell wanted to talk to me." Clemens does not explain the discrepancy.

Mr. Cummings: I've listened to you and I've listened to you carefully. Again, I'm trying to see where to strike a balance. I have got two people who are saying kind of opposite things. I'm looking for an independent source to help me try to figure out which side to believe. And I've got to tell you, one of the most interesting things -- and Mr. McNamee said it, it's been borne out in the depositions -- is that when McNamee gave testimony about Knoblauch and Pettitte, those allegations were borne out to be true. And for some reason, your guy, who you admire, who you think is one of the greatest guys and honest guy and everybody says he's a religious guy, when he -- although he -- when it comes to you, it's a whole another thing. You following what I'm saying? So you are saying Mr. McNamee lied about you but he didn't lie about the other two? How do you explain that?

Mr. Clemens: Again, Congressman, I am -- I am certain that when Andy Pettitte -- when Andy Pettitte used HGH, why didn't he tell me that he used HGH? I never learned about any of this. I am -- Andy and I are close friends. We were playing travel mates. If he misheard me on a subject that I was talking about, some gentleman's using HGH for quality of life like I stated, then he misunderstood that. I'm telling you in -- again, that he should have had no doubt in his mind when he came into the locker room when the Mitchell Report was -- the L.A. Times report was released about having us implemented in that ordeal, he sat down and looked at me. I still at that time did not know -

Mr. Cummings: My time is running out. I hear you, but my time is running out.

Mr. Clemens: Again, he looked at me wringing his hands, white as a ghost and asked me, what are you going to tell them? I told them, I'm going out there to tell the truth. I didn't use any of that stuff. That alone should have took Andy off of any kind of wavering of whatever he had.

Mr. Cummings made a long statement which ened with the questions, "So you are saying Mr. McNamee lied about you but he didn't lie about the other two? How do you explain that?" Clemens never answered the questions. He did not state, "Yes, Brian is lying about me."

Brian McNamee named three ball players that used HGH or steroids: Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. The first two have admitted to it. Clemens has not.

McNamee claims that in June 1998 he attended a barbecue at Jose Canseco's house in Miami. Clemens was at the party and discussed with McNamee steroid use. Clemens denies he was at the party. Clemens was in town but he produced a receipt showing he was golfing that day. Several people at the party including Jose Canseco gave an affidavit stating that Clemens was not at the party. McNamee stated that he remembers a woman at the party who was wearing a bikini and was chasing after a young child. He later learned that the woman was Clemens' nanny. He then claims he saw "Roger and Debbie Clemens talking in the middle and then they went inside the house." In trying to pin down Clemens' whereabouts, Congressman Davis questioned Clemens on how long it took to play a round golf. He then asked the following questions.

Mr. Davis: Were your wife and children in Miami for this series?

Mr. Clemens: Yes.

Mr. Davis: You think you might have gone on -- onto the barbecue after the golf?

Mr. Clemens: I don't remember his party.

Mr. Davis: Okay. Is it possible your wife and some of your kids could have gone without you?

Mr. Clemens: I believe my wife Debbie was in my golf foursome and the kids sure could have been. I don't remember that they were --
Mr. Davis: But you don't remember being there at all?

Mr. Clemens: I don't.

Twice Clemens used the phrase "I don't remember." We can only believe what people tell us. Therefore, we cannot believe that Clemens was not at the party.

Prior to his testimony, Congress wanted to question Clemens' former nanny about the barbecue. Clemens or his team said they would provide Congress with her information. Before giving her name to Congress, Clemens called his former nanny and asked her to come to his home in Houston. Keep in mind that Clemens had not seen his former nanny in about seven years. His attorneys claim it was their idea to question the nanny before Congress had an opportunity to question her. When Chairman Waxman questioned Clemens about this "appearance of impropriety" Clemens claimed, "I was doing y'all a favor by finding a nanny that was supposedly came in question."

In talking about a telephone conversation between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, Congressman Davis asked Brian McNamee the following.

Mr. Davis: This was a conversation between the two of you. It seems to me, this would have been the time where, if this was a friend and you felt pained about having to expose him, you would have said, "Roger, I had to tell the truth." Why, in that conversation, didn't you say that?

Mr. McNamee: Because at the start of that conversation I realized that it was being taped, and I also didn't know if anyone else was listening, so -- I also was trying not to hurt him if it wasn't just him taping me.

In my earlier analysis of their phone conversation, I stated, "We would expect McNamee to state that he did tell the truth" when Clemens told him, "You just need to come out and tell the truth." McNamee now offers an explanation as to why he did not insist he was telling the truth. He states he knew their conversation was being recorded and he was trying to protect Clemens because he was not sure who was listening to their conversation.

Mr. Lynch: Okay. During the interview, Mr. McNamee, you told investigators that you had injected Mr. Clemens with Windstrol, a steroid, in 1998. And your exact testimony is that -- well, actually, that he probably developed an abscess on his buttocks as a result of the injection. And you said quote, "It was probably my fault because Windstrol, I learned later, that you're not supposed to inject it quickly. You're supposed to do it very slowly. That way it dispenses slowly. If you do it quickly, then it settles in a pool of fat and that is how an abscess is formed and that's what happened. So it was probably my fault."

Medical records from July 28, 1998 were provided to Congress by the Toronto Blue Jays. The records indicated that at the time in question there was a palpable mass "on the right buttock of Mr. Clemens." Clemens has always maintained that he only received B-12 shots from McNamee. Congress consulted with a medical professional who stated that it was unlikely a B-12 shot would have caused a mass on Clemens' buttock. Clemens submitted documents from another medical professional who said that it was possible to receive an abscess from a B-12 shot.


Brian McNamee admitted that in interviews with federal investigators he lied about his involvement and knowledge of HGH and steroid use with major league baseball players. Therefore, this casts some doubt on whether he is being truthful when testifying before Congress. Most of McNamee's statements appear to be verified by other testimony or other facts. He appears to have given straight answers to the questions asked of him.

Some of Roger Clemens' answers show a lack of conviction when he used phrases such as "I believe" and "I think." His explanation as to why he did not speak to Senator George Mitchell's investigators differs from what he said in his "60 Minutes" interview. There is some questionable activity when the Clemens' team tracked down his former nanny and interviewed her before releasing her name to Congress. Finally, nowhere in his testimony before Congress does Roger Clemens call Brian McNamee a liar. The closest he comes to calling him a liar is when he said, "...if I knew the lies that Brian McNamee was telling..." Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens are friends. Therefore, Clemens is not going to call Pettitte a liar. Instead he states that Pettitte "misheard" what he was saying. My guess is Clemens no longer considers McNamee a friend. Therefore, we would expect Clemens to call him a liar.


On January 12, 2009, ESPN reported that a federal grand jury had convened to determine whether to indict Roger Clemens for lying under oath to Congress.


On August 19, 2010, a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Roger Clemens on six felony counts involving perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress. Clemens is expected to be arraigned within a couple of weeks.


On July 13, 2011, Roger Clemens went on trial for lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs. On the second day of trial, the judge abruptly declared a mistrial after the government inadvertently allowed the jury to hear statements that the judge had banned. A hearing has been set for September 2, 2011 to decide if the government will be able to seek a retrial.


On June 18, 2012, a jury found Roger Clemens not guilty on charges of obstruction and lying to Congress. Many people feel that Clemens did lie to Congress. Congress believed he lied to them. The U.S. Attorney's Office believed he lied. His language indicates he lied. However, with the government's star witness being somewhat flawed it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemens did use steriods and lied under oath.

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