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Banned substances found on Roger Clemens' trainer's materials

March 10, 2009 |  5:44 pm

Roger Clemens watches as his former trainer, Brian McNamee, testifies before lawmakers in 2008.

Federal authorities have discovered performance-enhancing substances on the materials that Roger Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, said he used to inject the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, according to a New York Times report published Monday.

The report prompted the expected responses from the respective attorneys. Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, told the New York Times he wasn't surprised by the discovery. Hardin has long questioned the chain of custody issues with the gauze, vials and syringes McNamee turned over to the feds. McNamee's attorney, Richard Emery, told the Associated Press the finding puts Clemens "another significant step toward jail."

A federal grand jury in Washington is weighing whether to indict Clemens for perjury/false statements to Congress for his 2008 appearance in which he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

"This is enormously helpful to have," Chapman University law professor Katherine Darmer told the Los Angeles Times today. "When you're otherwise relying on the testimony and statements of people, physical evidence is always enormously important."

Darmer said she believes the evidence will be introduced by federal prosecutors to the grand jury to help clinch an indictment. She added, "the more evidence you have, the better your chances" at a conviction.

Darmer cautioned jurors now bring the so-called " 'CSI' effect" to the jurors' box, expecting a clean chain of custody that will certainly be ridiculed by Clemens' attorneys if a trial occurs. McNamee stored the evidence for years and will have to "demonstrate the integrity of the evidence," Darmer said.

"To me, this is still a good development for the government and a bad one for Clemens. It's not just about what McNamee is saying about him. Now, you have this evidence, and the testimony of others with far less baggage than McNamee. He's certainly going to be asked why he held onto that evidence so long. Maybe he knew his story would one day be questioned."

In another Clemens' development Tuesday, the New York Daily News is reporting that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder is recused from the pitcher's legal matter "presumably" for conflict of interest reasons after a member of his former law firm, Lanny Breuer, worked on Clemens' defense team during his testimony before Congress, the newspaper reported. Breuer defended Clemens' legal team for contacting a witness after she reported she saw the pitcher attend a party at the home of Jose Canseco, a retired slugger and admitted steroid user.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Roger Clemens watches as his former trainer, Brian McNamee, testifies before lawmakers in 2008. Credit: Susan Walsh / Associated Press