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Clemens tale now resembles CSI episode

The Roger Clemens did-he-or-didn't-he saga just turned from sordid to sordid and bizarre when it was made public that the pitcher's former personal trainer-turned-accuser turned over physical evidence to federal prosecutors that Brian McNamee's side says corroborates his contentions.

Those contentions are, of course, that McNamee injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormones 16 times in 1998, 2000 and 2001.  The physical evidence that McNamee is said to have handed over to investigators are syringes and pads with traces of Clemens' blood. Reportedly, McNamee produced the material about a month ago, in early January.

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It's all vaguely reminiscent of Monica Lewinsky preserving Bill Clinton's DNA evidence on the famous blue dress that helped prove the two had inappropriate moments together.

It all seems to be the stuff of a CSI episode but there are some major differences between the alleged Clemens syringes and the Lewinsky-Clinton dress.  For one, the particular type of DNA evidence on the blue dress was damning in itself. In the case of Clemens and McNamee, it's acknowledged by Clemens that the trainer injected him with something -- B-12 and lidocaine. One could assume there's supposed to also be evidence of PEDs on this newly revealed material. So the question -- if this evidence is to be held under expert scrutiny where there has to be a high degree of scientific certainty established -- is whether the physical evidence has been tampered with or as Clemens' side has said, "manufactured."

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There is also the considerably  problematic issue of what is called the chain of custody.  That's why police and investigators carefully document what happens to a piece of evidence from its discovery to its moment in court. There have been cases blown up over even a small interruption in documented chain of custody.  Here, we have evidence that has been in the hands of the accuser for many years.

And still further problematic is that if the timing of McNamee surrendering the evidence is true -- early January -- there is the outstanding question of why that evidence was withheld until after he apparently talked with federal investigators and the Mitchell Report officials, which was released in December.  You would think that if the trainer had told the senator about syringes, we would have all read about it in the report.

Meanwhile, today, McNamee talks with congressional staff members and Clemens makes one-on-one visits with some members of Congress, including Baltimore's own Rep. Elijah Cummings.  The big show is still scheduled for next Wednesday.

Where's Gil Grissom when you need him.

Photo credit: Associated Press

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