Prosecutors argue for drug testimony from athletes in Roger Clemens trial | Inquirer Sports

Prosecutors argue for drug testimony from athletes in Roger Clemens trial

/ 10:26 AM June 30, 2011

Roger Clemens, right, talking with his personal trainer, Brian McNamee, at the Houston Astros camp in 2006. The Supreme Court won't revive Clemens' lawsuit against his former personal trainer for claiming he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormones. The high court on Tuesday, refused to hear an appeal from Clemens, who has an upcoming perjury trial in Washington. AP

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors argued Wednesday that several Major League Baseball players should be allowed to testify at Roger Clemens’ impending criminal trial about their own drug use.

Clemens wants the judge to prevent his former New York Yankee teammates from testifying they got performance-enhancing drugs from team trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee says he also gave steroids and human growth hormone to Clemens, but the former pitching star denies the allegation.

Clemens argued in court filings last week that testimony from other players that they got drugs from McNamee has nothing to do with him and could lead to “guilt by association.” But prosecutors responded that they need the testimony from players like Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton to show that McNamee had access to drugs and knew how to inject them.

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Clemens is scheduled to go on trial starting next week on charges he lied in February 2008 when he denied before a congressional committee that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

The prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to follow the lead of the judge in the Barry Bonds trial, who allowed evidence to be introduced that Bond’s alleged supplier gave drugs to other athletes.

“Just as a burglar’s access to burglary tools would be relevant to a case involving a break-in, or an accountant’s access to business checks would be relevant to a case involving embezzlement, Mr. McNamee’s access to performance-enhancing drugs is relevant to whether he could possibly have supplied the drugs to defendant,” assistant U.S. attorneys Steven Durham and Daniel Butler wrote in their filing.

The prosecutors have said they plan to call about 45 witnesses, but have yet to reveal all the names on the list. But their filing disclosed a couple of details.

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They said Pettitte, Knoblauch, Stanton and former first baseman David Segui also will testify about team practices on the use of prescriptions and why players chose to use drugs. The prosecutors also said they plan to call at least one unidentified former player who chose not to use performance-enhancing drugs.

The prosecutors also argued that Walton should allow witnesses to give other testimony about what McNamee told them before the Clemens story broke to back up his account. They said Pettitte will testify that McNamee told him that Clemens had used steroids. They said one of McNamee’s personal training clients, Wall Street investment manager Anthony Corsco, will testify that McNamee told him he saved needles he used to inject Clemens. They also said Segui and drug supplier Kirk Radomski will testify that McNamee told them he had saved needles used to inject players.

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Prosecutors also said Pettitte’s wife should be allowed to testify about how her husband told her that he talked to Clemens about drugs. Clemens’ attorneys had argued the conversations with Laura Pettitte and the people who spoke with McNamee about his drug injections are hearsay that should not be heard by the jury.

“The defense has put Mr. McNamee’s credibility, bias, and motives at issue,” the prosecutors wrote. “The government is entitled to show that Mr. McNamee’s statements have been consistent and corroborated, as part of rebutting the defense’s allegations of bias.”

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TAGS: crime, Ethics, Justice, Sports, Steroids

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