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Clemens' friend: Papers have it wrong03/21/2008 8:29 PM ET
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
Houston financial adviser Doug Dawson, a former NFL offensive lineman and longtime friend of Roger Clemens, told a Houston television station there isn't any significant connection between Clemens and Shaun Kelley.
According a report in the New York Times on March 7, Kelley, owner of Shaun Kelley Weight Loss Centers, is a potential target for questioning by IRS agents looking into the sale of performance-enhancing drugs in the Houston area.
The Times reported that the IRS wants to know if Kelley and Clemens had a relationship. The newspaper said one of Kelley's former employees had been contacted by IRS agents asking about the two men.
Dawson told KRIV-TV in Houston on Thursday that he had introduced Clemens to Kelley at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes function in 2007. He also believes that, after the introduction, the two men had no further relationship.
"I know first-hand there is no connection," Dawson told KRIV.
Kelley, who denies being involved in the sale of performance-enhancing drugs, reiterated to KRIV-TV that he and Clemens do not have a relationship beyond the introduction.
"When you are the chairman of an event, you buy a lot of tables and you get a lot of friends to come. So I invited them," Dawson told the station. "I remember how excited Shaun was to meet Roger that night. That night is the first time in my knowledge, and both of them said this, that Shaun got a chance to meet Roger Clemens and he was excited about that. Obviously, Roger knew who Shaun was because Shaun has billboards all over town, but that's the first time they ever met. Their paths have never crossed and there's really no reason for them to cross."
The Justice Department is looking into whether Clemens committed perjury after telling Congress under oath last month that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, told Congress he injected Clemens a number of times from 1998-2001.
The New York Daily News has also published a recent article looking into a possible relationship between Kelley and Clemens. The Daily News also quoted Kelley as saying there is no relationship.
Dawson told KRIV that The Daily News also contacted him about a possible relationship between Clemens and Kelley. Dawson said he felt the newspaper wasn't interested in what he had to say.
Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, told KRIV the two New York newspapers seem more interested in Clemens if the information is negative.
"Neither the The Daily News or The New York Times are interested in anything that helps Roger," Hardin told the station.
Hardin said Dawson's accounts of how Kelley and Clemens met should end the media attempts to connect the two men.
"Doug is confirming what Roger has said all along," Hardin said. "He doesn't know Shaun Kelley. At most, he shook his hand on one occasion at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes function."
Teri Thompson, an editor with The Daily News, told KRIV she believes the newspaper made it clear that the relationship between Kelley and Clemens is faint. She also said the reporter involved with Dawson thought he was off the record and that's why he was not quoted or mentioned by name. Thompson said the Daily News did its best to be fair.
The New York Times did not respond to the station's request for comment. Attempts to reach the IRS were not successful.
Dawson -- who played with the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Oilers, and Cleveland Browns -- said he and Clemens have been friends for 15 or 20 years.
"I believe whole-heartedly in what Roger has told me all along, that he's innocent, just worked hard," Dawson told the station. "I worked out with Roger many years and never had any indication that he had done anything."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.