Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Canseco reasserts that Clemens was not at house party
LOS ANGELES -- Jose Canseco reaffirmed Tuesday that Roger Clemens did not attend a party at his house that has become a focal point of a federal investigation.
Canseco was interviewed by federal agents and answered a series of questions about a variety of subjects and about his knowledge of steroid use in baseball, said his attorney, Gregory Emerson.
The former AL MVP was questioned about his new book, "Vindicated," and "some of the issues that have arisen earlier in the [Congressional] hearings," Emerson said.
"He answered fully and to the best of his knowledge," the attorney said. He said nothing new of significance was discussed.
The 1998 party at Canseco's home became an issue because Brian McNamee, Clemens' former trainer, has said Clemens spoke with Canseco and soon afterward approached the trainer about using performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens says he did not attend the party, and Canseco corroborated that in an affidavit to Congress. Canseco stood by that affidavit during his interview on Tuesday, Emerson said.
"Roger was probably one of his closest buddies, has been to Jose's house before," the attorney said. "Jose's absolutely certain Roger wasn't there [at the party in question], and he remains 100 percent committed to that affidavit."
Photos that show Clemens in Canseco's pool have surfaced, but they are undated.
Canseco has long been considered a whistle-blower about the use of steroids in baseball, with his 2005 book titled, "Juiced." Major League Baseball and federal investigators have begun to give some of his claims more credibility.
"When this [Canseco's claims] first came out, Jose was shunned by players and by Major League Baseball," Emerson said. "Now they've found that there is a substantial amount of credibility.
"The [latest] book is an attempt to really expose Major League Baseball, not any particular players for their positions. I think he's been telling the truth and told the truth today."
Canseco has confirmed that Joseph Dion of Miami is the trainer "Max" he wrote about in his latest book. Canseco claimed that Dion was a steroids dealer he introduced to Alex Rodriguez.
Dion, first identified as "Max" by Sports Illustrated on its web site, strongly denied the allegations, saying he hates steroids and is "100 percent" against their use. Rodriguez said he knows Dion, but he has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs. Canseco has said he has no knowledge of drug use by Rodriguez.
Jeff Novitzky, one of the federal agents who met with Canseco, recently moved from the IRS to the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, The New York Times reported on its Web site, citing two unidentified lawyers with knowledge of the change. Novitzky will remain involved in the sports drug investigations.