Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roger Clemens once again denies steroid use

NEW YORK – Seven-time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens once again vehemently denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs by saying it would be "suicidal" given his family's history of heart problems.

"Our family has a history of heart conditions," Clemens said. "My brother had a heart attack in his late 40s. My stepdad died of a heart attack. I mean, it would be suicidal to even think about taking any of these dangerous drugs."

Speaking on a New York area radio show on Tuesday, Clemens also reiterated that he never received drugs from former New York Yankees trainer Brian McNamee.

"It is impossible because he has never given me any," Clemens said. "It is as simple as that. He has never given me (human growth hormone) or any kind of performance-enhancing drug. So it is impossible."

The 47-year-old Clemens' was making his first public comments since testifying in front of the US Congress in February of last year. It also came the same day as the release of a new book "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime".

Clemens, who is still the subject of a federation investigation, said he had seen portions of the book written by four New York Daily News reporters and wanted to tell his side of the story as quickly as possible.

The American baseball icon said being at the centre of controversy and scandal has taken its toll.

"You need to get your story out about all this garbage that's being said, and it is important for me to do that.

"I've seen excerpts of the book and they are completely false. What I've read and what I've seen, the portions of it, are completely false. You know guys, it's piling on. It's hurtful at times, but I am trying to move on."

The books authors, Teri Thompson, Nathaniel Vinton, Michael O'Keeffe and Christian Red, have won awards for their ongoing coverage of the Clemens' case.

The former pitcher said his ex-teammate Andy Pettitte "misremembers" details of a discussion they once had about steroids but he still considers Pettitte a friend.

"My reaction is the same as before: Andy misremembers," Clemens said.

Clemens sent his good wishes to former Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez who has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03.

"I wish him the best," Clemens said. "I am glad he (admitted to using). I would tell him to move forward and to continue to do what he is doing. But I hope none of the things that he took or anything like that hurt his body to the point where it could hurt his career."

Clemens also joked about coming out of retirement.

"People keep asking me, 'Are you officially retired?' I've done it three times do I need to announce it again. Now that I'm hearing rumblings, I think it's gonna be a competition between myself and Brett Favre. So if he comes back again, then I'm gonna get out on the streets and start hitting the pavement. So we'll see what happens."

Clemens is under investigation by a US federal grand jury that is trying to determine whether he lied when he told a congressional committee that he had not used performance-enhancing drugs.

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