WASHINGTON Not one of Roger Clemens' flat-out denials about using steroids or human growth hormone was delivered while he spoke under oath. Now he gets that chance.
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to give a deposition to lawyers from a congressional committee behind closed doors today, one day after his former New York Yankees teammate and workout partner Andy Pettitte delivered sworn testimony for about 2 1/2 hours.
Both pitchers' private interviews with staff members from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are part of preparation for a Feb. 13 hearing. That public session is expected to focus on allegations made in the Mitchell Report by trainer Brian McNamee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with performance enhancers.
The 45-year-old Clemens ranks eighth in major league history with 354 career wins. He put off retirement yet again in 2007, returning to the Yankees in June and going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA.
"Roger is not going to take the Fifth Amendment," one of Clemens' lawyers, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement e-mailed by spokesman Joe Householder. "He is going to answer the committee's questions truthfully under oath."
McNamee is to appear Thursday. One of his lawyers, Earl Ward, said no decision had been made on whether he would submit to a deposition or transcribed interview. It is a crime to lie to Congress, whether sworn to tell the truth or not, so the distinction between the two has more to do with the format of the questioning and the confidentiality of the transcript.
Pettitte, who chose to be deposed, did not take questions from reporters afterward as he walked from committee offices to an elevator in the Rayburn House Office Building. Wearing a pinstriped gray suit and bright striped tie, Pettitte was accompanied by his wife and three lawyers.
"At the committee's request, Andy Pettitte voluntarily met with representatives of the committee this morning and fully answered all of the inquiries made of him in a sworn deposition," two of Pettitte's lawyers, Jay Reisinger and Thomas Farrell, said in a statement. "Out of respect for the sensitive nature of these proceedings and out of deference to the committee's request for confidentiality, we, on behalf of Mr. Pettitte, will not comment on the nature or specifics of his testimony."
Staff members for the committee declined to comment.
McNamee told former Senate majority leader George Mitchell he injected Pettitte with HGH. Pettitte lent credence to Mitchell's findings by acknowledging two days after the report was released in December that he did try HGH for two days in 2002 to help deal with an elbow injury.
The committee announced Monday it will hold yet another hearing Feb. 12, entitled, "Myths and Facts about Human Growth Hormone, B-12, and Other Substances." The committee said medical experts will testify about the effects of such substances.
A former Yankees teammate of Pettitte and Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, spoke to committee staff Friday. The day before, an employee of the sports agency that represents Clemens and Pettitte went to Capitol Hill to be interviewed.
McNamee said he injected Clemens with HGH and steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens has repeatedly and vigorously denied that, including in a recorded television interview and a live news conference as well as through his lawyers. Clemens did acknowledge he received injections from McNamee, but he said they were for vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine.
When Mitchell testified at a committee hearing Jan. 15, he was asked whether he was still comfortable with McNamee's credibility.
"We believe that the statements provided to us were truthful," Mitchell said.
McNamee also said he acquired HGH from former New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001 and McNamee said he injected Knoblauch with HGH. Radomski pleaded guilty in April to federal felony charges of distributing steroids and laundering money. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, then speak to committee staff on Feb. 12.
Last week, Ward said he believed Pettitte would tell Congress he discussed HGH with Clemens between the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Ward said Pettitte talked about HGH with McNamee following a conversation with Clemens.
Richard Emery, another lawyer for McNamee, has said the trainer and Pettitte also discussed steroids use by Clemens.
The 35-year-old Pettitte, who won four championships with the Yankees then helped the Houston Astros reach their first World Series, returned to New York last season and went 15-9. This offseason, he agreed to a $16 million, one-year contract to play for the Yankees in 2008.