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Believe Him Or Not
TOM VERDUCCI
February 25, 2008
Long before testimony at a congressional hearing cast doubt on his claim that he has never used steroids or HGH, Roger Clemens convinced himself that he has done no wrong
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February 25, 2008

Believe Him Or Not

Long before testimony at a congressional hearing cast doubt on his claim that he has never used steroids or HGH, Roger Clemens convinced himself that he has done no wrong

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"I never told you that."

"You didn't?"

"No, I told you that Debbie used HGH."

Clemens told the committee that Pettitte "misremembers" the 1999 conversation to which Pettitte referred, that he had spoken of HGH use by his wife. But Clemens also told the committee that Debbie used HGH only in 2003, which would have been four years after the first conversation with Pettitte.

The reference to his wife's HGH use fit a pattern in which Clemens, in his testimony, assigned responsibility for various missteps to others rather than himself. Those people included:

? His agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, who Clemens said did not inform him that former senator George Mitchell made written requests to interview him for Mitchell's report on steroids in baseball. Last week Randy Hendricks replied to SI by e-mail that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on Clemens's claim. (Pettitte, also represented by the Hendricks brothers, testified that Randy Hendricks did notify him of Mitchell's request but that Hendricks did not show him the letter and that Hendricks told him "there's no active players that are talking," so Pettitte obeyed the code of silence.)

? Commissioner Bud Selig, who Clemens suggested was obligated, because of Clemens's service to the game, to call him to recommend he speak to Mitchell. Such contact would have violated the collectively bargained procedure that interview requests had to go through the players' union, as well as Selig's mandate for Mitchell to run an independent investigation without the commissioner's involvement.

? Toronto Blue Jays physician Ron Taylor, who Clemens suggested might have been responsible for a "palpable mass" in his buttocks in 1998 because of a B12 shot. "If he gave me a bad shot, he gave me a bad shot," Clemens said. In his deposition Taylor told the committee he gave "close to one thousand B12 shots" and never had such a complication. ( McNamee said the mass resulted from steroid shots he improperly administered.)

? His late mother, Bess, who Clemens said advised him to take B12 shots.

? McNamee, who Clemens said came up with the ideas to give him lidocaine for his joints and to give Debbie the HGH before an SI Swimsuit shoot. ("She feels part of a trap that McNamee has set," Clemens testified.)

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