WASHINGTON May 2 New York Yankees pitcher Andy
Pettitte testified on Wednesday in Roger Clemens' federal
perjury trial that there was a 50-50 chance he had misheard his
friend and former teammate say he used human growth hormone.
In a second day of cross-examination by the defense,
Pettitte said he might have misunderstood Clemens when the ace
pitcher told him in 1999 or 2000 that he had used human growth
hormone to recover from injury.
Years later, Clemens told Pettitte he had been referring to
his wife Debbie's use of the drug during the conversation.
"As you sit here today, if you think about it in your own
mind, it's 50-50. You might have heard it, or you might have
misunderstood him. Is that fair?" defense attorney Mike
"I'd say that's fair," Pettitte said.
He also said he had not told Clemens about being injected
with human growth hormone in 2002 and injecting himself with the
drug in 2004, both times to deal with injuries.
Clemens was not present at the injections, he said.
Pettitte's testimony is considered crucial to the
government's case since he has nothing to gain by testifying
against his friend and former teammate and has not deviated on
what Clemens allegedly told him.
Clemens, 49, is being tried for a second time on federal
charges of lying to the House of Representatives Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform about whether he used anabolic
steroids and human growth hormone
The panel was investigating drug use in Major League
baseball. Clemens, a seven-time winner of the Cy Young award,
baseball's highest annual honor for a pitcher, is among the
biggest baseball names linked to alleged drug use.
In a setback for the defense, U.S. District Judge Reggie
Walton ruled that Clemens' lawyers could not touch on why his
former trainer, Brian McNamee, had been fired from the Yankees
in 2001. McNamee was fired for lying to investigators in
connection with a Florida rape case but continued to work with
Clemens and Pettitte as a private trainer.
Walton said he had already ruled that the "nature of the
underlying conduct is not admissible."
Although Pettitte had told congressional investigators that
McNamee injected him with human growth hormone, the judge
blocked similar testimony at the trial on Tuesday, ruling it
could be prejudicial to Clemens' defense. On Tuesday Pettitte
was allowed to testify that he received injections but did not
say from whom.
Pettitte has come out of retirement to bolster the Yankees'
pitching staff and is playing his way back into shape with a
Yankee farm club.
(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Mohammad Zargham)