HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Maintaining his innocence, Roger Clemens finally addressed his case away from the courtroom during an exclusive interview on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM) in Houston, his hometown. The seven-time Cy Young winner calmly reiterated he has never used performance-enhancing drugs.
With his two sons in tow, Roger Clemens hurried from the baseball facilities at Georgetown University to prepare for court as he learned a verdict was in.
After more than five years of facing public accusations of having used performance-enhancing drugs during his prolific 23-year career as a Major League Baseball pitcher and then charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying his use of those drugs, he was acquitted Monday.
“Not guilty” means the end of a drawn-out saga for the now-upbeat Clemens. But he says despite enduring the accusations, charges, mistrial, second trial and jury deliberation, a life of normalcy didn’t seem too far out of reach.
“I’ve been living it for five-and-a-half years,” Clemens said. “The thing I’ve tried to do – without really being able to say anything – is keep it normal around the house, around friends and what I did in the community and just tried to stay on par with who I am.”
Clemens said federal authorities “went around the world” to try to convict him.
“We tried to do everything the government asked for. We opened up our arms, our house, everything they wanted,” Clemens said. “They went around the world looking for people to tie me to. They came up with one guy who painted himself as my personal trainer.”
Clemens told the station he still doesn’t understand why Brian McNamee dragged him through the mud.
“When you open up your house to people you never think that behind the scenes someone is planning or plotting something against you because they are either jealous of you or have an ax to grind,” Clemens said about McNamee. “I can’t fathom the situation that happened.”
Clemens added that his trial reminded him of the “Jerry Springer Show.”
Once the verdict was announced, Clemens became inundated with congratulatory messages.
“They all mean the same to me, whether they came from my celebrity-type friends, my ex-managers or players from all four teams and from close friends,” he said.
But baseball fans – and even non-baseball fans – differ in response to the verdict; and both the sympathetic callers as well as the outraged have the phone lines at the sports talk stations around the country blowing up. Despite his relief to have had his day in court and to have have won, Clemens knows the criticism he’ll continue to face regardless of jury’s decision.
“When I was on the mound – when I was working as a professional, I took it very seriously,” Clemens confirmed. “My public image is what I did and not who I am.”
Listen to the complete interview.
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