Entries in Steroids (13)


Roger Clemens Emotional After Prosecutors Strike Out

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a federal jury cleared him Monday of all counts, Roger Clemens, the legendary pitcher known for his toughness, broke down.

"For all you media guys that have followed my career, I put a lot of hard work into that career" Roger Clemens said as he wept on the courthouse steps surrounded by family.

Clemens, known as "The Rocket" and perhaps the most dominating Major League Baseball pitcher of his era, has been in a five-year fight to clear his name. He had become one of the primary symbols of what was wrong with baseball, accused of taking steroids and lying about it to Congress.

"Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids," Clemens said in a dramatic hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which called him to testify in February 2008.

The government spent four years investigating Clemens, dispatching 103 agents to 72 locations across the United States and around the world to prove that the former pitcher had committed perjury in denying his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens was charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements, and one count of obstructing Congress. On Monday, a jury acquitted him on all charges after a 10-week trial.

The case was largely built on the word of one man: Clemens' former trainer, who directly contradicted Clemens during that dramatic hearing before Congress in 2008.

"I injected Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs," former New York Yankees trainer Brian McNamee told the House committee.

In end, the jury did not believe McNamee, whose credibility was severely damaged by the testimony of his estranged wife.

"She was able to persuade this jury that everything her estranged husband said was nothing but a lie," Lester Munson of ESPN said.

So the government struck out, and Clemens did something he had done many times before. He won.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lance Armstrong Slapped with Fresh Doping Charges

Morne de Klerk/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former cyclist Lance Armstrong has been banned from competing in triathlons and could be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brought formal doping charges against him, according to a 15-page letter sent to Armstrong that was obtained by The Washington Post.

The USADA -- a quasi-government agency -- alleges in the letter that Armstrong, along with five former cycling team associates, three doctors and a trainer took part in a doping conspiracy from 1998-2011, and that more than 10 cyclists described in the letter were witnesses to the doping.  The agency also claims it collected blood samples from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 and found signs of blood manipulation.

Armstrong Wednesday denied the doping accusations in a statement, calling the charges "baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity immunity."

"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one," Armstrong said in the statement Wednesday. "That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

After almost two years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles recently closed its investigation into doping allegations against Armstrong without indicting him.

Armstrong, who took up triathlon competitions after his retirement from cycling, was scheduled to compete in the Ironman France in Nice on June 24, according to The Washington Post.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clemens Trial: McNamee Explains Why He Saved Evidence

Brian McNamee (L) leaves after testifying in the perjury and obstruction trial of Clemens on May 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Why did the government’s key witness in the perjury case against former pitcher Roger Clemens save needles and bloody gauze pads for years in a FedEx box he labeled “Clem”?

To get his wife off his back, he explained.

Brian McNamee told jurors Tuesday morning that his then-wife Eileen constantly complained about his frequent travel with Clemens in the summer of 2001.  Plans to travel with the family were too often cancelled at the last minute at Clemens’ whim, he testified.

“For the two weeks I'm home, I just wanted to be with my kids and not have any anguish with my wife,” McNamee explained. “What would make her not give me a hard time all the time?  It had to stop,” he said, his voice rising. “Who could live like that?”

McNamee said he “never lied to his wife,” and that she knew that he’d been giving Clemens injections for a few seasons.  He decided that he would show her the medical waste from the steroid and human growth hormone injections, and keep them in a box in their home.

“So, that's it.  I just saved it,” McNamee said.  “No intent of using this, ever. Ever,” McNamee volunteered, hoping to preempt the notion that he was saving the evidence to blackmail Clemens later.

“Why would that resolve the issue with your wife?” prosecutor Dan Butler asked.

“Because she kept saying, ‘You're gonna go down!  You're gonna go down! You're gonna go down, if something ever happened.’”

“I knew I was dealing illegal substances.  This was the best I could do,” McNamee pleaded.

He placed the material in a FedEx box, wrote “Clem” on the side, and kept it stored for years.  That material is now in the hands of federal authorities, who say it contains Clemens’ DNA and residue of performance-enhancing drugs.

The courtroom is bracing for Rusty Hardin’s cross-examination.  He’s expected to paint McNamee as a substance-abusing liar.  

The jury has returned for more direct examination by prosecutors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former Trainer: Roger Clemens Wanted Help with "Booty Shot"

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a halting voice, the prosecution’s key witness against former baseball star Roger Clemens recounted for jurors how he injected his now-former friend with steroids for the first time in the spring of 1998.

Clemens sat upright, staring sternly at Brian McNamee the witness box.

“In 1998, I didn’t know much about [anabolic steroids]” McNamee, then the Toronto Blue Jays' strength coach, told the jury.  “It wasn’t something I needed to know about.”

But McNamee said he had begun to do some reading – in magazines, mainly – about steroids.  He learned that oral steroids are more toxic, injections less so. He says he had discussed performance-enhancing drugs with players. And one day that spring, McNamee said Clemens asked him for help with a “booty shot.”

“Roger had come to me in the locker room,” McNamee said, asking “Are you available tonight?”

“I knew exactly what he was saying.”

That night, McNamee says, Clemens handed him steroids in a ziplock bag full of brown ampoules, tiny glass bottles the user is required to break. The bottles read “testosterone.”

McNamee, an ex-cop, says he was nervous.  

“It was a little uncomfortable, because I'd never done that before,” he testified.  “I'd never broken off a bottle cap, where you have to break glass.”

And McNamee said Clemens never told him the source of the drugs.

“Why didn’t you ask?” prosecutor Daniel Butler inquired.

McNamee answered abruptly. “Don’t ask, don’t tell.  I didn't want to know.”

McNamee said he cracked the glass ampoule, loaded the syringe and walked nervously from Clemens’s bathroom to his bedroom.

“Roger pulled down his pants, exposing his right buttocks.  He bent his leg and started to flex his butt and said, ‘I'm ready. Just make sure there's no air bubbles in it, right?’”

“I injected him and plunged the fluid into his buttocks,” McNamee said.  “It looked like it was a clean strike.”

"Wow, that was really easy," Clemens said per McNamee’s account, before turning the conversation to “pleasantries” like, “So, what are you doing tonight?”

McNamee testified that it seemed to him, Clemens had done this before.

“I knew what I was doing was illegal,” McNamee said.  Fourteen years later, McNamee now says he only wanted “to help.”  

“I did what I was asked, and I shouldn't have. I made a mistake, and I wish to God I could take it back. I was young,” McNamee, who was 30 years old at the time, said Monday.

McNamee says he continued to inject Clemens eight to 10 more times that season, including once hurriedly in a “cubbyhole” – a utility closet -- at the clubhouse in Tampa Bay.

On cross examination, which will likely start Tuesday, Clemens’s attorneys are expected to savage McNamee’s credibility.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Roger Clemens' Trainer to Testify at Former Pitcher's Trial

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The government's key witness in its trial against former major league pitcher Roger Clemens, who's accused of lying to Congress about his use of performance enhancing drugs, will testify Monday in a Washington, D.C. courtroom.

Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee is expected to take the stand and say he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with  steroids and human growth hormones.  McNamee saved the bloody gauze pads and needles he claims to have used on the pitcher.

Clemens has stated that the injections he received from McNamee were vitamin b12 and lidocaine.

Prosecutors intend to use McNamee's testimony and the evidence to prove Clemens lied to Congress.

The former pitcher was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements.  He is accused of making the false statements to congressional investigators in a Feb. 5, 2008 deposition.  The perjury charges, meanwhile, arose from his Feb. 13, 2008, testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Clemens insists he did not lie under oath.  His lawyers say McNamee is a liar and his evidence is tainted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clemens' Defense Dismisses Key Prosecution Witness Testimony

Brendan Smialowski​/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The lawyer for Roger Clemens ripped into the evidence against him today as a “hodgepodge of garbage” and said key prosecution witness Brian NcNamee was a liar.

Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin ridiculed charges in his opening statement that the retired pitching ace lied to Congress about the use of steroids and human growth hormones.

“What guy would go to Congress and lie under oath knowing what the consequences would be?” Hardin said.

Hardin told the jury of 10 women and 6 men (there are 4 alternates) the case was focused on Clemens because his client “Dared to deny he was guilty of a crime.”

Clemens was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements as a result of testimony he gave to Congress regarding use of performance enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.

Clemens was charged with making the false statements to congressional investigators in a deposition on Feb. 5, 2008. The perjury charges arose from his Feb. 13, 2008 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Last year Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial after the prosecutors referenced evidence that the judge had prohibited from being introduced to the jury.

“The case has always been about one man’s insistence on clearing his name, against all odds,” Hardin said of Clemens and his denials that have pitted him against his former trainer Brian McNamee.

McNamee cooperated with investigators for the Mitchell Report, which examined steroids in baseball on behalf of Major League Baseball. McNamee’s claims in the report that he injected Clemens with steroids and growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001 were among its most significant revelations. The report led to congressional hearings with Clemens squaring off with McNamee.

Hardin said that the Clemens defense team would welcome key testimony from Clemens’ former Yankee teammate Andy Pettitte. Pettitte’s testimony is expected to be a key part of the prosecution’s case. Hardin today said that Pettitte had misremembered conversations he and Clemens had about the use of HGH.

Hardin told the jury the case is the story of two men, Clemens and McNamee. Hardin alleged that McNamee was seeking to gain fame and fortune by making allegations about Clemens. Hardin showed the jury a picture of McNamee leaving from his May 2010 grand jury appearance wearing a tie with an advertisement of a company he was representing.

He also showed pictures of McNamee appearing on the Howard Stern radio show and the draft of a book he had written called Death, Taxes and MAC as examples of him seeking to cash in on his allegations about Clemens.

“Is there any market for this book if he hadn’t made these allegations?” Hardin asked the jury.

Hardin told the jury about Clemens work ethic as a ballplayer that led him to win seven Cy Young awards spanning back to his late night practices in high school in college. Hardin told the jury that Clemens was a top competitor who won Cy Young awards long before and after he ever trained with McNamee.

Hardin also showed the jury pictures of Clemens over his career showing that his body never changed as the result of any steroid use.

Hardin told the jury that although prosecutors described a dejected Clemens getting shelled in game three of the 1999 American League Championship Series and being pulled out in the third inning claiming in the locker room, “I need McNamee”, Hardin noted the prosecutors forgot to tell the jury that Clemens later led the Yankees to a World Series victory in 1999.

“They are so tragically wrong,” Hardin told the jury. “They have taken one perspective and fit it into everything.”

Hardin saved his harshest criticism of the government’s case detailing evidence that McNamee provided to federal agents, the needles and gauze pads allegedly containing Clemens blood and steroids.

While the prosecutors showed the jury detailed pictures of the needle and of the cotton balls neatly displayed in the opening statement, Hardin showed the jury how McNamee had maintained the evidence strewn about in a bag with beer cans.

“It is the most mixed-up hodgepodge of garbage you could ever imagine,” Hardin told the jury citing his concerns with the chain of custody of how it got to federal agents from McNamee via his attorney.

“It is ludicrous to suggest this is evidence in a criminal case,” Hardin said.

“There is no high level of sophistication to manipulate the evidence,” Hardin told the jury detailing how the defense would demonstrate that McNamee could have manufactured the evidence.

Hardin also showed the jury a chart of all of the government resources the government used in their investigation of Clemens to verify McNamee’s allegations.

“187 witnesses…79 interview locations, 103 law enforcement officials, over whether a baseball player used steroids. Eight assistant U.S. attorneys have touched this case,” Hardin told the jury with a map of the United States and arrows depicting locations and calls the prosecutors and federal agents made.

“There’s not going to be any real corroboration of Brian McNamee,” Hardin said.

Trying to further discredit McNamee, Hardin told the jury that McNamee lied to government agents and to the Mitchell Commission.

“Under his own admission he lied to law enforcement in 2001 as part of a criminal investigation of him in Florida,” Hardin said in reference to a sexual assault case McNamee was involved in, but never charged for.

The stakes are clearly high as tension between the prosecutors and defense team has been demonstrated with numerous arguments over evidence in pretrial hearings and prosecutor Steve Durham raising four objections during Hardin’s opening statement.

The government called Phil Barnett former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff director as the first witness. Barnett had questioned Clemens during the Feb. 5, 2008 deposition that he voluntarily agreed to.

The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Roger Clemens Jury Pool Asked About Steroids and Baseball

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The judge in the retrial of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens Monday walked potential jurors through a list of 86 questions that they were required to respond to, ranging from their interest in sports and baseball to their thoughts about steroids and human growth hormone and what they think about Congress.

Several potential jurors said they believed performance-enhancing drugs were widely used in professional sports but that the issue would not prevent them from giving Clemens a fair trial.

Clemens was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements as a result of testimony he gave to Congress regarding use of performance-enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.

Clemens is charged with making the false statements to congressional investigators in a deposition on Feb. 5, 2008. The perjury charges arose from his Feb. 13, 2008, testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in the case in July after only two days of testimony when prosecutors included portions of Clemens’ February 2008 congressional testimony that referred to conversations former Yankee teammate Andy Pettitte had with his wife, Laura Pettitte, about the use of HGH.

Walton had barred the prosecutors from referring to Pettitte’s wife before the jury.

Several of the jurors questioned Monday said they were aware that there had been a mistrial in the case as a result of some trouble over evidence in the case.

Two potential jurors said they felt Congress has more important issues to deal with than steroids in baseball.

“There as lot more current problems that should be dealt with,” a potential male juror told Walton Monday. “I found it a little bit ridiculous Congress is doing this."

“The whole process is a little bit wasteful,” the man said.

A woman who works for a conservation group said that although she thought the congressional hearings were not that pertinent, everyone should testify truthfully.

The woman said she was a fan of baseball and had attended about 20 major league games. Several potential jurors said they didn’t like baseball or follow sports.

Clemens sat seated at a table with his defense lawyers dressed in a blue-gray suit and tie. When the pool of jurors was brought into a room where they all listened to Walton’s instructions, Clemens stood before them all when he was asked to identify himself.

Clemens’ defense lawyers are expected to try to create doubt about the government’s evidence. At the final pretrial motions hearing Friday, Clemens’ defense attorney Rusty Hardin said he had serious questions about chain of custody issues over gauze pads and syringes that Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee kept after allegedly injecting Clemens with human growth hormone.

As the new trial approaches, Hardin is preparing to question the credibility of McNamee, the government’s star witness in the case. He is likely to raise questions about how McNamee kept the syringes and gauze pads he allegedly used to inject Clemens before providing them to government investigators.  During opening statements in the first trial, Hardin told the jury that McNamee “manufactured” the evidence.

During the hearing on Friday Hardin said that in the time since the mistrial was declared last July the government has carried out an additional 50 other interviews. Hardin complained before Judge Walton that this was unfair and that the “new information was gained through their own misconduct.”

Clemens has stated that the injections he received from McNamee were vitamin b12 and lidocaine.  The trial is expected to last 6 weeks. Opening arguments could begin next week after the jury of 12 people and four alternates are selected.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Barry Bonds Sentenced to Two Years Probation

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A federal judge sentenced former MLB slugger Barry Bonds to two years probation Friday, sparing the home run king time behind bars for his role in an investigation into sports doping among professional athletes.

In addition, the judge sentenced Bonds to 30 days of location monitoring, 250 hours of community service with youth groups, and issued the former MVP fines of more than $4,000.

Prosecutors requested Bonds serve 15 months in prison after providing misleading information to a grand jury for his alleged involvement in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid ring. Jurors found Bonds guilty in April of obstruction of justice but remained deadlocked on three counts he lied under oath that he knowingly took steroids supplied by BALCO.

Bonds, baseball's all-time leader with 756 home runs, was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges in 2007 after years of allegations he used steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge Walton Will Allow Retrial for Roger Clemens

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Judge Reggie Walton has allowed a retrial in the case of Roger Clemens which he set to begin on April 16, 2012. Walton had previously declared a mistrial on July 14 after only two days of testimony, when prosecutors defied his order by introducing evidence that Walton had ruled could not be shown to the jury.

During arguments Friday Clemens’ defense attorney Michael Attanasio stated that the prosecutors willfully violated the judge’s order to force a mistrial alleging that they had to, “win at all costs” since they did not like the jury that had been seated and that they had insight into the defense strategy after opening statements had been made in the trial.

In making his ruling Judge Walton said, “I have nothing based on my past experience with counsel that this was their intent … I find it difficult to believe that Mr. [Steve] Durham intentionally violated an order,” Walton said about prosecutor Steve Durham.
“I don’t think on the record that we have here -- that there is a double jeopardy bar,” Walton ruled, referencing the 5th amendment of the Constitution.
Clemens lawyer argued before Judge Reggie Walton Friday that a retrial was not appropriate since the prosecutors now knew the defense strategy and they said future jury pools would be tainted.
Clemens defense attorney Michael Attanasio began his argument before Judge Reggie Walton by saying, “Something has gone wrong here … and that something is a win at all cost mentality.”

Clemens was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements for testimony he gave to Congress in February 2008 regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.  Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, has acknowledged that he injected former teammate Andy Pettitte with HGH in 2002 and 2004 and both men were to be key witnesses for the prosecution against Clemens.
When he declared the mistrial in July, Judge Walton blasted the prosecutors after they showed the jury extended parts of Clemens congressional appearance on Feb. 13, 2008, which referenced conversations Andy Pettitte had with his wife Laura Pettitte about the use of HGH.  Before the trial Walton issued a ruling that statements that Mr. Pettitte made to his wife could not be admitted or shown to the jury.

At the end of the hearing Walton said he was very troubled by the events but that the double jeopardy standard had not been met with the record that had been presented to him. Walton set jury selection to begin on April 16, 2012.
It is expected the defense team will appeal, Clemens team nor the prosecutors commented when they departed the courthouse since there is a gag-order in place.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Judge Declares Mistrial in Roger Clemens Case

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A mistrial has been declared in the perjury case against former baseball star Roger Clemens, just days after the trial began.

The defense complained that prosecutors failed to follow a pretrial ruling to limit information about conversations fellow ballplayer Andy Pettitte had with his wife about the use of human growth hormone. Judge Reggie Walton halted proceedings Thursday, quickly accepted their concerns and declared a mistrial.

Clemens' defense team raised objections to prosecutors showing jurors extended parts of Roger Clemens' testimony on Feb. 13, 2008, which referenced conversations between Pettitte and his wife about use of human growth hormone.

Before a brief recess, Walton admonished prosecutors for not editing down portions of the testimony: "I made a ruling that statements that Mr. Pettitte made to his wife could not be admitted."

"This clearly runs afoul of my pre-trial rulings."  Walton told the prosecutors. "That testimony is not going to be relevant."

A new jury will now be called.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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