The federal prosecutor overseeing an investigation of steroids in baseball said Monday a newspaper report that five players, including Roger Clemens, had used illegal performance-enhancing drugs contained “significant inaccuracies.”
Citing sealed court filings, the Los Angeles Times reported that former pitcher Jason Grimsley had named Clemens, his Houston Astros teammate Andy Pettitte , and Baltimore Orioles Miguel Tejada , Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons. The story first appeared on the Times’ Web site on Saturday and quickly was seized on by print and broadcast media outlets.
San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan issued a statement Monday, saying: “In view of the recent news reports purporting to identify certain athletes whose names had been redacted from the government’s search warrant filings in the Grimsley matter, and in the interests of justice, please be advised that these reports contain significant inaccuracies.”
A spokesman for Ryan declined to elaborate.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Times had no immediate comment. The newspaper reported that an unidentified source with access to the document allowed the newspaper to view it, and a second source provided additional details about the document.
All five players immediately denounced the story, with Clemens calling it “dangerous and malicious and reckless.”
Federal agents raided Grimsley’s Arizona home in June after the pitcher admitted using human growth hormone, steroids and amphetamines. The pitcher, who played with Clemens and Pettitte on the New York Yankees , later was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks and suspended for 50 games.
In a search warrant affidavit, IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, the lead investigator in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroids probe, said Grimsley had identified other players as drug users, the Times reported. Those names were blacked out when the document was released.
“As I have said all along, and as Andy and Roger said quite clearly yesterday, they have never used performance-enhancing drugs,” Randy Hendricks, the agent for Pettitte and Clemens, said Monday.
He added that Clemens “signed up to play for his country in the World Baseball Classic this year and submitted to Olympic standard testing, including blood work, and then went out and had another good year for the Astros.”
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.