Wednesday, February 6, 2008

McNamee's Stained Blue Dress

Well, the steroids equivalent of it anyway:

Brian McNamee’s lawyers are promising to deliver a bombshell Thursday against Roger Clemens.

McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, will produce “corroborative physical evidence” for congressional investigators that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs, the trainer’s lawyers said Wednesday.

According to a lawyer familiar with the matter, McNamee had syringes used to inject Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone that still had traces of Clemens’s blood. McNamee gave those syringes to federal prosecutors last month when they came to New York to meet with McNamee and his lawyer, Earl Ward.

Gauze pads too, according to the story.

Color me less than impressed. For one thing, Clemens has already said that McNamee injected him with B-12 shots. I personally don't buy it (Canseco has said that "B-12 shots" were a euphimism among steroid users), but that's his story, and since we're talking about perjury traps here, someone would have to prove Roger's DNA didn't come from good old B-12 to make any hay out of it, and I don't know how you'd go about doing that.

But even if we assume this evidence is from steroid injections -- especially if we assume it -- that raises the question as to why, if McNamee had physical evidence of this, he didn't share it with George Mitchell last year. His deal with the feds was to give Mitchell everything he had back then. Mitchell issued a report citing post cards and third-hand hearsay. Don't you think he would have liked to have some bloody gauze pads to help bolster his case? Shouldn't McNamee be in some hot water if the blood evidence is legit? Doesn't the absence of putatively critical evidence like this in the Mitchell report further undercut its overall reliability, even if the specific claims against Clemens are bolstered?

Is it possible that McNamee has this stuff? Sure. But for over a month, each side has spent so much time and effort posturing that it's hard to say how much of this is bluster and how much is actually evidence of anything.

UPDATE: Apparently not much evidence of anything at all, seeing as how you can't place an accurate date on steroids or human growth hormone that may be found in McNamee's magic syringes:
Scientific experts said there was no known method to date steroids or human growth hormone. The syringes, vials and gauze pads are said to date from 2000 and 2001, part of a four-year period in which McNamee contends he gave Clemens drug injections. But even if the physical evidence tests positive for Clemens’s DNA and, say, steroids, Clemens’s lawyers could argue that McNamee added steroid traces to the original evidence in a bid to incriminate Clemens, experts say.
Add this to the pile of things that will tar Clemens in the eyes of much of the public, but will have little or no legal value whatsoever.

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