Roger Clemens, one of professional baseball's most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players allegedly linked to performance-enhancing drugs by a former teammate, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.
Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens' fellow Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former American League most valuable player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles.
The discovery ends four months of speculation surrounding the possible identities of Major League Baseball figures whose names were redacted from the search warrant affidavit filed in Phoenix on May 31. The document was based on statements allegedly made to federal agents by pitcher Jason Grimsley, who has since retired.
Grimsley, a journeyman relief pitcher who played on several teams, including the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and the Angels, acknowledged using steroids, amphetamines and other drugs, investigators said in the document. He also implicated a number of former teammates, but the names were blacked out in copies of the affidavit made public in June after investigators used the warrant to raid Grimsley's house.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, December 21, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 3 inches; 111 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball: A front-page article on Oct. 1, 2006 incorrectly reported that in a search warrant affidavit filed in May 2006 in federal court in Phoenix, an investigator alleged that pitcher Jason Grimsley named former teammates Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons as players linked to performance-enhancing drugs. In the affidavit, which was unsealed Thursday, Grimsley did not name those players. The article also said Grimsley alleged that Miguel Tejada had used steroids. The only mention of Tejada in the affidavit was as part of a conversation with teammates about baseball's ban of amphetamines. The Times regrets the error, and a clarifying story appears on the front page today.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, December 23, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 3 inches; 101 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball: A front-page article on Oct. 1, 2006, incorrectly reported that in a search warrant affidavit filed in May 2006 in federal court in Phoenix, an investigator alleged that pitcher Jason Grimsley named former teammates Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons as players linked to performance-enhancing drugs. In the affidavit, which was unsealed Thursday, Grimsley did not name those players. The article also said Grimsley alleged that Miguel Tejada had used steroids. The only mention of Tejada in the affidavit was as part of a conversation with teammates about baseball's ban on amphetamines. The Times regrets the error.
A source with authorized access to an unredacted affidavit allowed The Times to see it briefly and read aloud some of what had been blacked out of the public copies. A second source and confidant of Grimsley had previously disclosed player identities and provided additional details about the affidavit. The sources cooperated only on condition of anonymity.
According to the affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that Clemens "used athletic performance-enhancing drugs." He also allegedly said Tejada used anabolic steroids.
Clemens and Pettitte did not respond to requests for comment made Saturday through their agents and the Astros. Tejada had previously declined to be interviewed.
Grimsley was questioned by investigators after he allegedly received an illegal shipment of human growth hormone, or HGH. The shipment was tracked to his Scottsdale, Ariz., home by a task force of federal agents investigating drug use in professional baseball, the affidavit said.
For a time, Grimsley secretly cooperated with investigators, they said, but stopped after retaining a lawyer.
According to the 20-page search warrant affidavit, signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, Grimsley told investigators he obtained amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from someone recommended to him by, a source said, former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee is a personal strength coach for Clemens and Pettitte.
The former team trainer did not return several messages left with his wife and on his answering machine.
The affidavit also alleges that Grimsley told federal agents that former Orioles teammates Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons "took anabolic steroids." Roberts was the American League's all-star second baseman in 2005 when Grimsley was an Oriole.
All three Baltimore players declined to be interviewed. Roberts said he had "nothing to talk about" and didn't know why he was named.
A sixth player, retired outfielder and first baseman David Segui, previously came forward to say that his name was among those blacked out in the affidavit provided to the public. Segui told ESPN in June that he used HGH on the advice of his doctor as recently as the 2004 season. He did not obtain approval from the league, he acknowledged.
Government officials have declined to comment about their ongoing investigation of drugs in professional baseball.
Clemens, 44, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who came out of retirement to pitch for the Astros the last three seasons, was a teammate of Grimsley on the Yankees in 1999 and 2000, as was Pettitte, a two-time all-star who is nearing 200 career wins. Grimsley, Tejada, Gibbons, Roberts and Segui were teammates in Baltimore during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Grimsley started this year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but requested voluntary retirement in June after Major League Baseball suspended him for 50 games.
Edward Novak, Grimsley's lawyer, did not return calls. Previously, he publicly disputed the claims investigators made in the affidavit, saying his client did not volunteer the names of any teammates. He said federal agents asked Grimsley to wear a recording device to gather evidence against San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds and that Grimsley refused.
Grimsley was not arrested and has not been charged. Since June, he has complained to friends that federal agents attributed statements and disclosures to him that he didn't make.
"Jason is loyal to the death, a hardheaded guy who would not give up his friends," one of Grimsley's friends said Saturday. "The only names he discussed with those investigators were names ... [the investigators] suggested to him."