Roger Clemens, 44, 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 Los Angeles Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.
Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens's fellow Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former American League MVP 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 May 31. The document was based on statements made to federal agents by pitcher Jason Grimsley.
Grimsley, a journeyman relief pitcher who has 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.
A source with authorized access to an unredacted affidavit allowed The Times to see it, but retained it to read back 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 insisted on anonymity.
According to the affidavit, Grimsley told investigators that Clemens and Pettitte ``used athletic performance-enhancing drugs." He also said Tejada used anabolic steroids.
Clemens and Pettitte did not respond to requests for comment made yesterday 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. 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 a source recommended to him by former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee. The former team trainer is a personal strength coach for Clemens and Pettitte.
McNamee did not return multiple messages left with his wife and on his answering machine.
The affidavit also alleges that Grimsley told federal agents 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 Grimsley named him. A sixth player, retired outfielder 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, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who came out of retirement to pitch for the Astros in each of the last two years, was a teammate of Grimsley on the Yankees in 1999-2000, as was Pettitte, a two-time All-Star who is nearing 200 career wins. Grimsley, Tejada, Gibbons, and Roberts were teammates in Baltimore during the 2005 season.
Grimsley started this year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but requested voluntary retirement in June after his arrest. The National League also 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 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 yesterday. ``The only names he discussed with those investigators were names . . . [the investigators] suggested to him."
Clemens has surprised many in the baseball world with his late-career success. Of his 348 career wins, 68 have come since the summer he turned 40. In a controversial tell-all book , former major leaguer Jose Canseco speculated that Clemens's late-career surge showed ``classic signs" of steroid use.