Friday, February 22, 2008
Report: Man has photo of Clemens at disputed Canseco party
ESPN.com news services
The 1998 party at Jose Canseco's house in Miami may have started out as a gathering of friends and family. It has turned into an event worthy of congressional testimony and a source of "evidence."
There is a photo of Roger Clemens at Canseco's house during the June 1998 party, according to the New York Daily News -- a photo that would contradict Clemens' sworn testimony that he never attended the party.
Richard Emery, one of the lawyers for Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, said he was aware of the existence of the photo.
"We have reason to believe it's reliable evidence," Emery told the Daily News. "We believe there's photographic evidence that shows Clemens was at a party he says he wasn't at."
Roger Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement Friday declining detailed comment because he hadn't seen the photo and said he'd been informed on Feb. 12 by a former Canseco neighbor of his possession of a "photograph of his son with Roger in a pool at a party at Canseco's house."
"I expressed no interest in buying it, but urged [the neighbor] to let our investigator visit with him, view the photograph and interview him. He said he wanted to talk to his son first and would call me back that day. I gave him all of my phone numbers and urged him to call. Unfortunately, I never heard back from him," Hardin said.
Clemens' alleged attendance at the party is a key point in the Clemens-McNamee probe. It is mentioned in the Mitchell report, and was a focal point during the Feb. 13 hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
In the Mitchell report, McNamee said he witnessed Canseco, Clemens and a third, unidentified person talking together, but did not overhear the conversation. McNamee said that some time after the party, "Clemens approached [him] and, for the first time, brought up the subject of using steroids," according to the report.
The crux of the issue is whether Clemens was present at the party, which was hosted by Canseco for his Toronto Blue Jays teammates and their families while they were in town for a series against the Florida Marlins.
Clemens has repeatedly denied being at Canseco's house for that event. But a young man has a photo of Clemens at the party, according to the Daily News. The man was just 11 years old at the time of the party, taking photos of various baseball players in attendance.
McNamee has testified that he clearly recalls Clemens, his wife, nanny and children at Canseco's party, including describing the nanny as wearing a peach bikini and board shorts.
Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has said he turned over evidence to congressional lawyers, including an affidavit from Canseco, proving Clemens didn't attend Canseco's party.
The House committee is still debating on the next step regarding the steroids investigation. Sources have told the Daily News that they expect the committee to refer the entire matter, not just the Clemens investigation, to the Justice Department.
"We haven't heard anything one way or the other," Hardin told the Daily News.
A House subcommittee, working separately from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is holding a hearing Wednesday on drugs in sports that is set to feature testimony from MLB commissioner Bud Selig, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NBA commissioner David Stern and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection hearing, originally scheduled for Jan. 23, is similar to one the subcommittee held in May 2005, two months after the reform committee's hearing that featured Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.