Report: Photo shows Clemens at party
Evidence could contradict pitcher's Congressional testimony
With the U.S. Dept. of Justice trying to determine whether to open a grand jury to investigate the veracity of pitcher Roger Clemens and his former personal trainer Brian McNamee, new evidence has surfaced that could be detrimental to Clemens' argument.The New York Daily News reported on Friday that a photograph placing Clemens at a Florida pool party thrown by Jose Canseco in 1998 could contradict Clemens' testimony before a Congressional committee earlier this month that he was not there. Canseco, in a filing with the committee, also said that Clemens did not attend. Clemens has denied vociferously that he ever used steroids or human growth hormone, despite evidence given by McNamee to federal prosecutors and published on Dec. 13 in the Mitchell Report. The party was also part of McNamee's testimony to George Mitchell, the former Senator and Majority Leader. Since its hearing on Feb. 13, leaders of the House Oversight and Reform Committee have been pondering whether to refer the matter to Justice, although the top federal prosecution arm in the U.S. can certainly move forward on its own. The newly surfaced photo is the property of a young man who attended the party when he was 11 years old, the newspaper reported. Richard Emery, a lawyer for McNamee, said he was aware that the photo had been circulating this week. "We have reason to believe it's reliable evidence," Emery told the Daily News on Thursday. "We believe there's photographic evidence that shows Clemens was at a party he says he wasn't at." Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement about the photograph Friday evening that said:
"On February 12th, a former neighbor of Jose Canseco¹s contacted me. He said he had a photograph of his son with Roger in a pool at a party at Canseco's house. He said that friends who had seen the photograph were suggesting to him that he sell it. I expressed no interest in buying it, but urged him to let our investigator visit with him, view the photograph and interview him. He said he wanted to talk to his son first and would call me back that day. I gave him all of my phone numbers and urged him to call. Unfortunately, I never heard back from him.
"It is impossible for us to comment on the photograph itself because we haven¹t seen it. We know that baseball announcers broadcasting the games at the time said Roger was not at the party. Jose Canseco has said Roger was not at the party, as has Canseco's former wife. Roger was playing golf at the time of the party, and has stated that he may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game."
Clemens' truthfulness on the matter was also put into question during the hearing when information was introduced by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, stating that a former nanny employed by Clemens had placed the seven-time Cy Young Award winner at Canseco's event. Waxman also chastised Clemens for possible witness tampering because he spoke with the nanny before she was interviewed by attorneys for the committee.The long arm of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative surely might ensnare Clemens, because Jeff Novitzky, an IRS agent who has been on the case for more than five years, attended the Congressional hearing and would appear to be keenly interested. Since the lab was raided in 2003, a number of track, baseball and National Football League stars have had their reputations tarnished in the ongoing process. Marion Jones was stripped of her Olympic medals and is going to jail for six months because she admitted to lying to federal investigators about her personal use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Barry Bonds, MLB's all-time leader with 762 home runs, is currently fighting an indictment in a San Francisco federal court that stipulated he committed four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs in front of the initial grand jury investigating BALCO. Multiple grand juries took 2 1/2 years before deciding to hand down the indictments this past November.In the same case, Kirk Radomski, a former Mets clubhouse employee, provided enough names and information about baseball players to the feds for Mitchell to compile 95 pages about the subject in his report. Radomski, who was given a five-year suspended sentence for his compliance, told the government that he sold the drugs to McNamee that the trainer said he injected on numerous occasions in to Clemens from 1998 to 2001.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.