Languages
Page last updated at 23:15 GMT, Thursday, 28 February 2008

Baseball star faces FBI inquiry

Former baseball trainer Brian McNamee, left, and baseball star Roger Clemens give testimony to a congressional committee in Washington DC on Wednesday
Mr Clemens, right, sat just inches away from his accuser Mr McNamee

The FBI has announced it will investigate whether baseball star Roger Clemens lied to the US Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

It made the announcement a day after a congressional committee asked the justice department for an inquiry.

Mr Clemens denied allegations by former trainer Brian McNamee of drug abuse when they both appeared before the House Oversight Committee this month.

Either man could face up to five years in jail if convicted of perjury.

"The request to open an investigation into the congressional testimony of Roger Clemens has been turned over to the FBI and will receive appropriate investigative action by the FBI's Washington field office," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said on Thursday.

Contradictions

Mr Clemens testified to Congress in a sworn deposition on 5 February, then at a hearing on 13 February, that he had never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Baseball star Roger Clemens in a game in May 2007
Clemens was one of the best-known figures in the game

Mr Clemens's testimony was contradicted by the sworn testimony of Mr McNamee.

In their letter to the justice department, House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman and the committee's most senior Republican, Tom Davis, said that further investigation was needed.

The hearing followed the publication of the Mitchell report in December, which named more than 80 Major League players in connection with doping.

Mr Clemens - who won 354 games during his 24-year career, and is regarded as one of the sport's all-time great pitchers - was one of the biggest names in the report.

Mr McNamee told the committee he had "injected those drugs into the body of Roger Clemens at his direction" at least 16 times between 1998 and 2001.

His former teammate and close friend Andy Pettitte - also under investigation for doping - has backed the claims, saying Mr Clemens admitted his drug use to him.

'Tainted'

The charges were repeatedly denied by Mr Clemens, who says he was injected, but with vitamin B12 and the painkiller licodaine, both of which are legal.

"I've never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other type of illegal performance-enhancing drugs," he told lawmakers.

"The suggestion I'd use steroids or other illegal drugs is totally incompatible with who I am or what I stand for."

But Mr Clemens, who mispronounced names and stumbled over words at times during the four-and-a-half-hour testimony, failed to convince all of his interrogators.

Mr McNamee, meanwhile, offered an apology for his conduct, saying he had "helped taint our national pastime".




SEE ALSO
US baseball 'rife' with drug use
14 Dec 07 |  Americas
Q&A: Anabolic steroids
14 Dec 07 |  Health
Fans underwhelmed by drug charges
14 Dec 07 |  Americas
Bonds pleads 'not guilty'
08 Dec 07 |  World
Baseball drugs network is exposed
28 Apr 07 |  Baseball

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific