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Clemens refutes former trainer's claims in national interview

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens discussed taking a
lie-detector test, was "shocked" close friend Andy Pettitte used
human growth hormone and, in his first interview since the Mitchell
report, said -- again -- that he probably will retire.

Sounding indignant and defiant in his first
interview since his former personal trainer accused him of using
steroids, Clemens seemed to set up a confrontation with Brian
McNamee in front of Congress if the pair testify under oath at a
Jan. 16 hearing.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner, a fiery look in his eyes
and stubble on his face, told CBS's Mike Wallace that he would have
spoken with baseball drug investigator George Mitchell had he been
aware McNamee accused him of using steroids and HGH.

Clemens, the most prominent player implicated in last month's
Mitchell report, steadfastly maintained his innocence and called
McNamee's allegations "totally false."

"If he's doing that to me, I should have a third ear coming out
of my forehead. I should be pulling tractors with my teeth," said
Clemens, who wore a lavender button-down shirt during the
interview, taped Dec. 28 at his home in Katy, Texas.

Said Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin: "Anyone not persuaded by
that interview is not a well person."

Just minutes before the interview aired in Texas, Clemens filed a defamation lawsuit against McNamee in Harris County District Court. The lawsuit listed 15 alleged statements McNamee made to Mitchell. Clemens claimed McNamee's statements were "untrue and defamatory."

McNamee's attorney, Earl Ward, told ESPN's T.J. Quinn on Monday that his client is determined to file a counter lawsuit against Clemens. Ward said he spoke to McNamee on Monday morning and Clemens' statements in the "60 Minutes" interview are "a total lie."

No countersuit has been filed yet.

On Friday, when the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform invited Clemens and McNamee to testify, the pair spoke by
telephone, an individual close to the situation said, speaking on
condition of anonymity because public comments weren't authorized.
The conversation first was reported Sunday by Newsday.

The individual would not say what was discussed.

One of the few revelations in the much-hyped interview came when
Clemens was asked whether he could conceivably take a lie-detector
test.

"Yeah," he answered. "I don't know if they're good or bad."

Clemens is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday in
Houston, part of his campaign to clear his name. Next up is the
congressional hearing. Pettitte, former Yankees teammate Chuck
Knoblauch and former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who
allegedly supplied McNamee with performance-enhancing drugs, also
were asked to appear before the committee.

Lawyers for Clemens and McNamee have said their clients are
willing to testify but Hardin wouldn't commit to the date.

Richard Emery, another of McNamee's lawyers, said he would
welcome testimony from Clemens.

Clemens said his lawyer advised him not to speak with Mitchell,
who spent 20 months on his investigation.

"If I would've known what this man, what Brian McNamee [had]
said in this report, I would have been down there in a heartbeat to
take care of it," Clemens said.

Only two active players, Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas, spoke
with Mitchell, a Boston Red Sox director and a former Senate
majority leader.

In excerpts of the CBS interview that were released Thursday,
Clemens said McNamee injected him
with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine. In the full
14-minute broadcast, Clemens also said he was given an injection of
toradol under the supervision of the New York Yankees.

McNamee told Mitchell he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH
about 16-to-21 times during 1998, 2000 and 2001 -- before baseball
players and owners agreed to ban performance-enhancing substances.

Clemens said the cost of litigation had made him wary of filing
a lawsuit against McNamee.

"I don't know if I can defend myself," Clemens said. "I think
people -- a lot of people have already made their decisions. And
that's our country, isn't it? Guilty before innocence -- that's the
way our country works now. And then everybody's talking about sue,
sue, sue. Should I sue? Well, yeah, let me exhaust -- let me, let me
just spend," he said, gesturing as if he were peeling off bills.

"Let me keep spending. But I'm going to explore what I can do,
and then I want to see if it's going to be worth it, worth all the
headache."


On Sunday night, Clemens did decide to file a defamation lawsuit against McNamee.

Eighth on the career list with 354 wins, the 45-year-old Clemens
said he was angered McNamee's accusations have been accepted as
truth by some.

"It's hogwash for people to even assume this," Clemens said.
"Twenty-four, 25 years, Mike. You'd think I'd get an inch of
respect. An inch."

Clemens said the descriptions McNamee gave Mitchell of
injections "never happened." McNamee said Clemens asked him to
inject him in the buttocks because Clemens did not like
belly-button shots he presumably could inject himself.

"If I have these needles and these steroids and all these
drugs, where did I get 'em?" he said. "Where is the person out
there [who] gave 'em to me? Please, please come forward."

McNamee said he obtained the drugs from Radomski or Clemens
supplied them.

"Why didn't I keep doing it if it was so good for me? Why
didn't I break down? Why didn't my tendons turn to dust?" Clemens
said.

Shortly before Mitchell's findings were released Dec. 13,
Clemens said McNamee e-mailed him asking where Clemens bought
fishing equipment in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but never brought up
the upcoming report.

McNamee told Mitchell he injected Pettitte with HGH in 2002.
Pettitte issued a statement saying he took two HGH injections while
rehabbing his elbow.

"I had no knowledge of what Andy was doing," Clemens said.

Asked why McNamee would tell the truth about Pettitte and lie
about Clemens, Clemens said Pettitte's case was "totally
separate."

"I was shocked to learn about Andy's situation," Clemens said.
"Had no idea about it."

Clemens wouldn't say what penalty should be assessed on an
individual found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.

"I think it's a self-inflicted penalty. They break down quick.
It's a quick fix," he said. "They're in and out of the game."

Clemens also discussed his use of Vioxx, an arthritis medication
withdrawn from the market in 2004 because a clinical trial revealed
increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

"I was eating Vioxx like it was Skittles," Clemens said. "And
now -- now these people who are supposedly regulating it, tell me
it's bad for my heart."

Clemens has said he was retired after each of the past four
seasons but came back each time, spending three seasons with his
hometown Houston Astros and then returning to the Yankees last
year. He said "you'll never see me pitch again," but hedged
slightly and said "probably."

"The higher you get up on the flagpole, the more your butt
shows. I understand all that," he said. "But I'm tired of
answering to 'em. That's probably why I will not ever play again. I
don't want to answer to it. I want to slide off and be just a
citizen."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.