Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Pettitte says he used HGH supplied by father in 2004
WASHINGTON -- Andy Pettitte felt caught in the middle between his friends Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee. In the end, Pettitte's conscience told him which side to choose.
Pettitte told congressional lawyers that Clemens informed him nearly a decade ago he had used human growth hormone and said McNamee let him know in 2003 or 2004 that Clemens had used steroids. Pettitte also admitted his own use of HGH was not limited to 2002, as he previously said, but that he also took injections in 2004 after obtaining the substance from his ailing father.
"I have to tell you all the truth," Pettitte said in his deposition last week, which was released after Wednesday's congressional hearing. "I have to live with myself. And one day I have to give an account to God and not to nobody else of what I've done in my life. And that's why I've said and shared the stuff with y'all that I've shared with y'all today that I wouldn't like to share with y'all."
McNamee, personal trainer for Clemens and Pettitte, said in the Mitchell report that Clemens used steroids and HGH, an accusation the seven-time Cy Young Award winner denies. McNamee also said Pettitte used HGH.
On Dec. 15, two days after the Mitchell report was released, Pettitte said he used HGH for two days in 2002 while with the New York Yankees. Last week, he went further, in a deposition for congressional investigators and an affidavit submitted in exchange for being excused from Wednesday's hearing.
"In 2004, when I tore the flexor tendon in my pitching arm, I again used HGH two times in one day out of frustration and in a futile attempt to recover. Unfortunately, I needed surgery on the arm later in the year. I regret these lapses in judgment," Pettitte said in his affidavit.
Pettitte pitched for his hometown Houston Astros from 2004-06 before rejoining the Yankees last year.
"My dad had been using it," Pettitte said in his deposition, describing his father's heart condition. "He ended up bringing me two syringes over to my house. And you know, I injected myself once in the morning and once at night. ... I did it for that day. And to this day, I don't know why. ... I was desperate and you know I really knew that it wasn't going to help me. My flexor tendon was already torn. I knew I needed surgery. I would just say just out of desperation I tried to do it again. But that was the extent of it."
Pettitte's lawyers said he will speak publicly when he arrives at spring training with the Yankees. Pitchers and catchers were due to report Thursday, but Pettitte asked general manager Brian Cashman for a few extra days. Cashman granted the request and said Pettitte will report to camp no later than Monday.
"I know what he's going through right now is not an easy situation," Cashman said, adding that he didn't watch any of the hearing in Washington, which Pettitte didn't attend. "I suspect that although it's not an easy process, that he's strong enough he will get through it over time."
New Yankees manager Joe Girardi is determined not to let that become a distraction.
"I've seen Andy go through difficult times and rise to the occasion and be able to focus on the task at hand," Girardi said. "I know Andy Pettitte's heart, and I know come April he'll be ready to go."
In his affidavit, Pettitte said Clemens acknowledged to him long ago that he used HGH.
"In 1999 or 2000, I had a conversation with Roger Clemens in which Roger told me that he had taken human growth hormone This conversation occurred at his gym in Memorial, Texas. He did not tell me where he got the HGH or from whom, but he did tell me that it helped the body recover," the affidavit said.
"Shortly after my conversation with Roger, I spoke with Brian McNamee. Only he and I were parties to the conversation. I asked Brian about HGH and told him that Roger said he had used it. Brian McNamee became angry. He told me that Roger should not have told me about his HGH use because it was supposed to be confidential. While I don't remember if Brian told me that he supplied Roger with HGH, it certainly was my impression from the conversation that he did."
In the affidavit, Pettitte said Clemens backtracked when the subject of HGH came up again in conversation in 2005, around the time the same House committee held a hearing on steroids in baseball.
Pettitte said in the affidavit that he asked Clemens in 2005 what he would do if asked about performance-enhancing substances by reporters. Pettitte said Clemens responded by saying Pettitte misunderstood the previous exchange and that, in fact, Clemens had been talking about HGH use by his wife in the original conversation.
Pettitte also recounted in his deposition how McNamee told him during a 2003 or 2004 conversation at Pettitte's gym that Clemens also had used steroids.
"I can just remember, you know, Mac telling me that Roger, you know, that he had gotten steroids for Roger," Pettitte said. "That surprised me."
Pettitte's affidavit and deposition often were cited by members of Congress who questioned Clemens under oath Wednesday, with Rep. Elijah Cummings saying it was the decisive factor in his decision to believe McNamee. California Democrat Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, read from affidavits by Pettitte and his wife, Laura, supporting McNamee's accusations. Laura said her husband had told her contemporaneously of his knowledge of Clemens' alleged use.
Clemens was asked whether he considers Pettitte an honest person, and Clemens said yes.
"Andy Pettitte is my friend. He was my friend before this. He will be my friend after this and again. I think Andy has misheard," Clemens said. "I think he misremembers."
Waxman commended Pettitte for making his admissions.
"Mr. Pettitte's consistency makes him a role model on and off the field," Waxman said.