An angry and frustrated Roger Clemens says he still plans to testify before congress next week about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. It’s the next step in his campaign to clear his name of damaging allegations contained in the Mitchell Report. As Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports, Clemens has also released an audio tape of a phone conversation he had with his former trainer last week.
The tape is about 17 minutes long and was recorded by Clemens on Friday at his home when he called Brian McNamee after his former trainer had text-messaged him earlier in the week about the health of McNamee’s son. In the tape, McNamee sometimes sounds desperate, saying he has no money and can’t go home because of the media attention.
“It is what it is and it’s not good and I want it to go away and I’m with you. I’m in your corner. I don’t want this to happen, but I’d also like not to go to jail too, but it has nothing to do with you. I would like to sit down with you in person and talk to you.”
Later, an emotional McNamee pleads with Clemens to let him know what he can do to help.
McNamee: “Tell me what you want me to do. I told you in the e-mail I’ll do whatever you want. What do you want me to do? I’ll go to jail. I’ll do whatever you want.
Clemens: “I just need somebody to tell the truth Mac.”
McNamee: “What do you want me to do right now?”
Clemens: “It’s ridiculous.”
McNamee: “What do you want me to do right now Roger?”
Clemens: “It’s ridiculous.”
Clemen’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, says McNamee, on the recorded tape, never takes the opportunity to disagree with Clemens when he says he’s done nothing wrong.
“When Roger says he didn’t do it, McNamee never says yes you did. When Roger says I just want the truth to come out, McNamee never corrects that. McNamee never says to him on this tape, yes you did Roger, you did. When Roger says he didn’t use steroids and you know it, McNamee never says yes you did.”
Next Wednesday, Clemens is scheduled to testify before a congressional committee on the steroid allegations, along with McNamee and several other ballplayers. Clemens says he plans to tell the truth about what he knows about performance enhancing drugs in baseball.
“I’m going to tell everything that I know about the situations and steroids and anything else that I have knowledge about, which isn’t a lot. It wasn’t something was just out there that I ever discussed or talked about unless it was newsworthy of the day.”
A visibly angry Clemens ended his press conference with a message to sports writers who have Baseball Hall of Fame votes and don’t plan to vote for him because of the allegations.
“If you have a vote and it’s because of this, you keep your vote. I don’t need the Hall of Fame to justify that I put my butt on the line and I worked my tail off and I defy anybody to say I did it by cheating or taking any shortcuts. Okay? I cannot wait to go into the private sector and hopefully never have to answer it again. I’ve said enough.”
Clemens then walked off the stage and out the door, his next comments expected to come in a little more than a week in Washington D.C.