Clemens, Pettitte prominent in Report
Mitchell details alleged ties to performance-enhancing drugs
NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were two prominent Major League players implicated in Thursday's release of former Sen. George Mitchell's investigation, which concerns the use of performance-enhancing drugs during their playing careers.
The pitchers were named by a former Yankees trainer, Brian McNamee, who detailed the alleged drug use of his two clients. Clemens vehemently denied the allegations through his legal counsel, while Pettitte declined comment through his agent.
According to the Report, McNamee provided information relating to both Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, and Pettitte as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office related to guilty pleas entered on April 26 on one count each of distribution of anabolic steroids and money laundering.
"Roger has been repeatedly tested for these substances, and he has never tested positive," said Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin. "There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances, and yet he is being slandered today."
"The use of steroids in sports is a serious problem, it is wrong and it should be stopped," Hardin said. "However, I am extremely upset that Roger's name was in this Report based on the allegations of a troubled and unreliable witness who only came up with names after being threatened with possible prison time."
The Yankees released a statement on Thursday afternoon through Howard Rubenstein, the personal spokesman for principal owner George Steinbrenner, that said, "We are reviewing the report and have no comment."
According to the Mitchell Report, McNamee was a Blue Jays employee in 1998 and became a casual, professional acquaintance of Clemens. Outfielder Jose Canseco said that, around the same time, he had numerous conversations with Clemens about the benefits of the steroids Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol, and how to "cycle" and "stack" steroids.
Later that summer, the Report said, Clemens asked McNamee to inject him with Winstrol, doing so approximately four times over a several-week period at Clemens' apartment at SkyDome, using needles that Clemens provided.
McNamee, a former New York City police officer, also said in the Mitchell Report that he injected Pettitte with human growth hormone (HGH) on two to four occasions. Pettitte originally showed interest in acquiring HGH early in the 2002 season, while on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis and hoping to speed his recovery.
"I have advised Andy that, as an active player, he should refrain from commenting until we have had an opportunity to speak with his union and other advisors," said Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks. "At the appropriate time, he will have something to say."
Pettitte finalized a one-year, $16 million contract with the Yankees on Tuesday. He insisted on Wednesday that he had not worked with McNamee during this offseason.
"I have not -- not at all this offseason," Pettitte said. "I sure haven't."
While the section of the Mitchell Report devoted to Pettitte spans 1 1/2 pages, the data pertaining to Clemens envelops more than nine pages. Mitchell said he presented Clemens with an opportunity to address the charges and was declined.
"It is very unfair to include Roger's name in this Report," Hardin said. "He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything, and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong."
McNamee said that over the period he was injecting Clemens, the right-hander confided that his performance improved and that the steroids were working, helping him to train harder. Clemens finished the 1998 season 11-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 15 starts for Toronto after going 9-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break.
One year after Clemens was traded to the Yankees, McNamee followed, hired as an assistant strength and conditioning coach under Jeff Mangold. McNamee said he was hired because Clemens persuaded the team to do so, and he drew dual paychecks at the time -- one from Clemens and one from the Yankees.
McNamee said that Clemens decided to begin using steroids again during both the 2000 and '01 seasons, and he was injected four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin that McNamee had obtained from former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.
McNamee stated that during the same time period, he also injected Clemens four to six times with HGH he received from Radomski.
McNamee believed that it was probably his idea that Clemens try HGH in 2000, injecting him several times at the right-hander's Manhattan apartment, but Clemens did not like the drug because of its "bellybutton shot." McNamee said that he had no knowledge of any performance-enhancing use on Clemens' part after the 2001 season, after which point he was dismissed by the Yankees.
McNamee and Clemens did continue to work out as recently as May 2007, when Clemens was preparing to return to the Yankees' Major League rotation after signing a prorated one-year, $28 million contract.
Current Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi, long linked with steroid use, was also mentioned in the Report, having testified to the commission in July after making what Commissioner Bud Selig deemed to be inappropriate comments to USA Today during the Yankees' series in Chicago in May, when he said he was wrong for having done "that stuff."
Other former Yankees included in the Mitchell Report were Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Sheffield, Mike Stanton, David Justice, Rondell White, Kevin Brown, Bobby Estalella, Darren Holmes, Josias Manzanillo, Hal Morris, Jason Grimsley, Glenallen Hill, Denny Neagle and Ron Villone.
"Many players have been named," said MLB Players Association head Donald Fehr. "Their reputations have been adversely impacted, perhaps forever, even if it turns out down the road that they should not have been."
Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multi-million dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players and usher in the next era of the sport.
Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among other prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the report. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire Report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.
While the Report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, it also contained 19 recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
The Mitchell Report named both Major League Baseball and the Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.