To sue or not to sue
Perhaps no one was watching
Last Thursday, Emery made it known that McNamee would bring a defamation lawsuit against Clemens if the seven-time Cy Young winner continued the attack on McNamee's reputation that began on Dec. 13, as soon as the Mitchell Report became public. That day, Clemens' lawyer
Answering questions for the first time since the Mitchell Report was released, Clemens expressed bewilderment at McNamee's accusations. "Never happened," he told Wallace of McNamee's contention that the personal trainer injected him with steroids. He called the idea that he used performance-enhancing drugs "hogwash" and "ridiculous."
With his blatant denials of McNamee's statements to Mitchell, Clemens "defamed Brian," Emery said. "Clemens pretty much flat out contradicted [McNamee] in ways that are potentially damaging to [McNamee's reputation]."
Still, Emery said, the
Clemens did agree with his former personal trainer on one thing: that McNamee had given him injections. But Clemens insisted that they were only of the pain killer lidocaine and vitamin B12. "It's for my joints," Clemens said, "and B12 I still take today." Clemens' claims that the injections were only a pain killer and a vitamin were revealed by CBS on Thursday, and quickly drew skepticism.
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic used to numb an area of the body for surgery or as a pain killer. The utility of lidocaine as a pain remedy for athletes, however, is limited. According to
"You would not inject lidocaine into the knee joint, for example, before any kind of competition," Green says, "because then you would not be able to feel the knee joint. That's an important thing, to be able to feel. You need that feedback to be able to balance." He did add, though, that lidocaine could be injected into the bursa, or fluid sac in a joint, if it was inflamed, to relieve some pain without inhibiting performance. But "lidocaine, I believe," Green says, "is a prescription drug. I don't know of any personal trainers who inject it [regularly for pain relief]."
Green added that it's not unusual for athletes and non-athletes alike to take vitamin B12, but that the impact is probably minimal. "I don't know whether Roger's a vegetarian or a vegan," Green says, "but a vegan is who you might think of not getting enough B12. It's pretty uncommon for a young, healthy person to have a B12 deficiency, but some people take it anyway."
Following his impassioned self-defense, Clemens told Wallace that he's so tired of scrutiny that he'd sooner retire than submit to an endless line of questions. "That's why I will not ever play again," Clemens said. But Wallace promises to be just the first of his inquisitors. On Monday, Clemens will face the mass of reporters who show up at his press conference in Houston, and, last Friday, the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked Clemens to testify at a hearing on steroids in baseball on Jan. 16.
"I'm interested to see how he handles the press conference and a hearing," says Emery, who noted that a defamation lawsuit is still an option should Clemens attack McNamee in either of those forums.