Sunday, January 20, 2008
Reports: Murray meeting with McNamee in 2004 may raise questions
ESPN.com news services
A meeting in 2004 between Roger Clemens' former trainer and a representative of the pitcher's agents could have implications in the back and forth claims about steroid use that came out of the Mitchell report, according to published reports.
Jim Murray, who is employed by Clemens' agents, met with the pitcher's former trainer Brian McNamee in 2004, near Clemens' New York apartment, according to McNamee's attorney Earl Ward.
Ward said that at the time, McNamee was concerned that some steroids may be lingering in Clemens' system that could result in a positive test in Major League Baseball's first round of steroid testing.
"He did speak to Murray about his suspicions, his concerns that Major League Baseball had implemented testing and that Roger could have a problem," Ward told The New York Times after speaking with his client Friday night.
McNamee said Murray took detailed notes about the meeting.
"Brian wanted to let them know Roger had some problems," Ward told the New York Daily News. "They discussed steroid use."
Clemens has repeatedly and vigorously denied McNamee's claim that he injected Clemens with steroids 16 times in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens has acknowledged he received injections from McNamee, but he said they were for vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine.
During his news conference defending himself on Jan. 7, Clemens played a telephone conversation between himself and McNamee taped the previous Friday. That tape includes a reference to Murray.
"I told Jim Murray. I told Jim Murray. I told him. I told him. I sat down with him in Starbucks on the corner where you [Clemens] used to live, and I told him the guy's name," McNamee says on the tape, referring to the ex-trainer's source for procuring steroids.
The person McNamee was referring to was former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.
On the tape, Clemens asked McNamee if he knew Radomski.
"I asked you point blank," Clemens said. "I said, 'Do you know who this cat is when we were working?' I said 'There's some rumblings about some guys with the Mets. Do you know who this guy is?' You told me 'no.'"
McNamee's response appears to validate his claim about the meeting with Murray.
"I met with Jimmy in '04, and I told him. I said 'Jimmy, I just wanted to give you guys a heads-up because you better have some information. I'd rather you be prepared than unprepared,'" McNamee said.
Ward also says McNamee contacted Murray shortly before the Mitchell report was released to warn him that both Clemens and Andy Pettitte would be mentioned by name in the report. Clemens and Pettitte have the same agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks.
Ward also said that when Murray called McNamee back, he believes Murray taped the call, which could be used as evidence in both Clemens' lawsuit against McNamee as well as for the congressional hearing slated for Feb. 13.
Rusty Hardin, Clemens' attorney, told the Times on Friday that no one from the Hendricks agency mentioned the alleged conversation between McNamee and Murray in 2004. Hardin added that the agency denied that either Hendricks brother ever received a message from McNamee on the topic.
"McNamee never told Jimmy that Roger or Andy were in any way connected to steroids or human growth hormone," Hardin told The Times.
The Feb. 13 hearing before Congress is expected to include Clemens, Pettitte, McNamee, Radomski and Chuck Knoblauch.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.