- The Washington Times - Monday, January 7, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Sounding indignant and defiant in his first interview since his former personal trainer accused him of using steroids, Roger Clemens seemed to set up a confrontation with Brian McNamee in front of Congress if they testify under oath at a Jan. 16 hearing.

Roger Clemens said during a segment broadcast on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last night that he might be willing to take a lie detector test and was “shocked” close friend Andy Pettitte used human growth hormone. He said — again — that he probably will retire.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner, a fiery look in his eyes and stubble on his face, told CBS’ 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,” Clemens said during the interview, taped Dec. 28 at his home in Katy, Texas.

“I thought it was an impassioned, disingenuous and desperate plea,” said Earl Ward, McNamee’s primary lawyer.

Said Clemens’ attorney, Rusty Hardin: “Anyone not persuaded by that interview is not a well person.”

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 yesterday 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 press conference today 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 reportedly 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.

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

“If Congress calls him, he pretty much has to take the Fifth, and if he takes the Fifth, nobody will ever believe him again and all this effort has gone down the drain,” Emery said. “And if he doesn’t take the Fifth, it’s very hard to imagine that a prosecutor isn’t going to pursue this. So I think he’s put himself in a terrible corner.”

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