Yankees' Pettitte says Clemens mentioned drugs and then changed story

Tue May 1, 2012 7:41pm EDT
 
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By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Yankees' pitcher Andy Pettitte testified on Tuesday that former teammate and close friend Roger Clemens told him he had taken human growth hormone but, years later, said he had been referring to his wife's use of the drug.

Pettitte is one of the most anticipated witnesses in the trial of Clemens, charged with lying to Congress about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. They became teammates and longtime friends who worked with the same personal trainer, Brian McNamee, another important figure in the case.

Clemens had spoken to him about drug use while they were working out in Houston during the off-season in 1999 or 2000 under McNamee's direction, Pettitte told jurors at U.S. District Court.

"Clemens mentioned that he had taken human growth hormone, it could help with recovery, and that's all I really remember about the conversation," he testified.

Under questioning by prosecutor Steven Durham, Pettitte said he then approached McNamee about using human growth hormone, probably the same day.

Pettitte, 39, said he used the hormone in 2002 and 2004 to recover from injuries. Then in 2005, when he and Clemens were in Florida for spring training with the Houston Astros, he again spoke again with Clemens about his alleged use of human growth hormone, saying he had heard about upcoming congressional hearings on drug use in baseball and was concerned that media attention could focus on him.

'MY WIFE DEBBIE USED IT'

"He just said, 'What are you talking about?' And I said, 'Well, didn't you tell me that you used it?' And he said, 'No, I didn't tell you that, I told you my wife Debbie used it,'" Pettitte said.   Continued...

 
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens walks at the federal courthouse in Washington April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas