Attorneys for Roger Clemens' former personal trainer yesterday showed a House committee photos of vials, gauze and a needle that they allege was used to inject the seven-time Cy Young Award-winner with steroids.
Attorney Richard Emery told reporters that the photos - one showed a half-crushed beer can said to contain spent needles - depict "hard evidence" from 2001 and 2002 showing that trainer Brian McNamee is telling the truth about steroids and Clemens is lying.
"The issue is clear. Did Roger Clemens take steroids and is he lying about it?" Emery said after he and McNamee met privately with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform six days before it holds a public hearing on the matter. "That's all there is here. It's not about Brian McNamee. This hard evidence we believe will define and finish this matter."
Attorneys for the pitcher, who was also on Capitol Hill yesterday pressing his case with committee members, dismissed the material in the photos as "fabricated waste stuff."
"What fair-minded human being, what honest person keeps syringes and blood and the like since 2001?" Lanny Breuer, one of Clemens' attorneys, said at a news conference. "He [McNamee] is a sad, tragic obsessed man."
Emery said the actual needle and other drug paraphernalia has been turned over to the Justice Department for testing and that "it would certainly make sense that there would be DNA and proof of connection to Roger Clemens if the test is done properly."
"Roger Clemens has put himself in a position where his legacy as the greatest pitcher in baseball will depend less on his ERA and more on his DNA," said Earl Ward, another of McNamee's attorneys.
Emery handed the photos to media members in a House office building. One photo depicts a needle, appearing to protrude from gauze, that Emery said "was used to inject Roger Clemens with steroids" in late 2001. A half-crushed beer can in the picture "comes from Roger Clemens' trash can and was used to store other broken needles," Emery said.
The other photo shows vials - Emery said they contained testosterone of several types - and needles strewn about that Clemens allegedly gave to McNamee at the end of the 2002 season.
The photos add another bizarre twist to the story of the complicated relationship between Clemens and McNamee.
McNamee told investigators for former Sen. George Mitchell last year that he repeatedly injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.
Clemens' attorneys have suggested that McNamee coveted Clemens' friendship and then turned on him.
Between 2001 and 2007, McNamee "begged for jobs, he stayed at his house, he asked for money," Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, said. "He asked for everything in the world from this man [Clemens]."
McNamee's attorneys indicated that McNamee was indeed close to Clemens. But they said he felt betrayed by Clemens when the pitcher played - on national television last month - a recording of a telephone conversation between the two men. Clemens alluded in the conversation to a medical condition affecting McNamee's son - a point that Ward said his client had hoped would remain private.
It was after the recording was played that McNamee's attorneys handed federal law enforcement authorities the vials and needle he had been saving in a Fed Ex box for years.
McNamee "is a New York City cop. He thinks in terms of evidence," Emery said. "He had a sense that Roger was not trustworthy and would betray him ultimately. If he was going to get thrown under the bus by Roger, he was going to take Roger with him."
Among the committee members Clemens visited was Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore.
Cummings said he focused the meeting on his concern that big-name athletes teach youths the right message about steroids.
When it comes to kids, Cummings said the accusations against Clemens are unimportant.
"I even told him I really don't want to know what you've got to say [about the accusations]. That's a separate matter," Cummings said. "But I know he's a Cy Young Award-winner. And a Cy Young Award-winner saying 'Look, this is bad. Don't do this' is powerful," Cummings said.
Clemens let his attorneys do most of the talking to the media yesterday, saying: "Looking forward to [the hearing] Wednesday. I'll see you all then."