Washington — Prosecutors said Wednesday that needles and cotton balls Roger Clemens’ former trainer says he used to inject the star pitcher tested positive for Clemens’ DNA and anabolic steroids — evidence the defense said was faked.
Assistant U.S. attorney Steven Durham revealed the results during opening arguments in Clemens’ trial on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin responded that he won’t dispute the needles contain Clemens’ DNA and steroids, but accused the trainer Brian McNamee of “mixing” it up.
“He manufactured this stuff,” Hardin told jurors. “Roger Clemens’ only crime was having the poor judgment to stay connected with Brian McNamee.”
Hardin said steroids would have been so “incredibly inconsistent with his career and beliefs that there’s no way he would have done it.”
Clemens has said that the only things McNamee ever injected him with were the common local anesthetic lidocaine for his joints and vitamin B-12 to ward off flu viruses and stay healthy. But Durham said neither substance was found on the needles or cotton swabbed with his blood stains.
Hardin told the jury that the government is “horribly wrong” in charging his client with perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress. Clad in a dark suit, Clemens watched silently from the defense table with a clenched jaw.
Hardin showed the jury an enlarged photo of the country with all the sites where federal agents investigated the case.
He said it involved 103 law enforcement officers, five attorneys, 229 investigation reports and 72 investigation locations across the continental United States, Germany and Puerto Rico.
“They still didn’t find anything to connect him with steroids except Brian McNamee,” Hardin said.
Tampa, Fla. — Former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was remembered Wednesday night before a minor-league game on the first anniversary of his death.
A short message was read over the public-address system, and a moment of silence was observed before the Tampa Yankees hosted the Palm Beach Cardinals at Steinbrenner Field.
Steinbrenner died of a heart attack at 80 on July 13, 2010. The Boss, who resided in Tampa, would watch the Class-A Yankees play from his fourth-floor office at the facility.
Yankees fan gets own baseball card
New York — The fan who returned Derek Jeter’s ball from his 3,000th hit will get a bit of memorabilia to keep — his own baseball card.
Topps says it will produce a trading card featuring Christian Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.
“We thought what he did captures the essence of what baseball and the Topps company is about,” said Mark Sapir, Topps vice president for sports.
Xavier AD to be NCAA chair
Indianapolis — Xavier University athletic director Mike Bobinski will be the chairman of the NCAA Div. I men’s basketball committee for the 2012-13 season.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that Bobinski would succeed Connecticut athletic director Jeff Hathaway as chairman after the upcoming season and tournament.
This will be Bobinski’s fourth year of a five-year term on the committee which sets the brackets for the 68-team field.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was the chairman last season.
Star QBs: It’s time to end lockout
New York — Calling the players’ offer “fair for both sides,” star quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees — plaintiffs in an antitrust suit against the NFL — said Wednesday “it is time” to wrap up negotiations on a deal to end the league’s lockout.
At the bargaining table, though, it wasn’t that easy.
On the day Brady, Manning and Brees spoke as a group publicly for the first time, players and owners spent nearly 11 hours meeting at a Manhattan law office.
Negotiations were scheduled to resume this morning. With each passing day, the need to strike a bargain and end the first NFL work stoppage since 1987 becomes greater.
West Va. left guard to miss season
Morgantown, W.Va. — West Virginia left guard Josh Jenkins will miss this season after undergoing surgery on his left knee.
Jenkins was injured in West Virginia’s spring game April 29 and had surgery July 5.
Montana’s son pleads guilty
Missoula, Mont. — Joe Montana’s son has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving stemming from a traffic stop in which he declined a breathalyzer test.
Nate Montana was pulled over for going 39 mph in a 25 mph zone in Missoula early June 3. The 21-year-old University of Montana quarterback was arrested on a first-offense DUI charge after a sheriff’s deputy said he smelled alcohol and that Montana fumbled with his driver’s license.
Judge denies UNC player’s request
Durham, N.C. — A judge denied a request Wednesday by a former North Carolina football player to be reinstated to the team after being declared permanently ineligible for academic misconduct by the NCAA.
Durham County Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson denied a petition by Michael McAdoo seeking to compel the university to reinstate him while preventing the NCAA from interfering in that process or punishing the school if he returned. McAdoo sought the court ruling so that he would be able to return to the football team in time for the start of his senior season this fall.
Memo supports playing overseas
New York — When it comes to playing overseas during the NBA lockout, Billy Hunter has a simple message for the league’s players: Enjoy your trip, we’ll call you when it’s time to come home.
In a memo sent to players on Tuesday night and obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday, the union leader said the NBA Players’ Association supports all players “who are taking steps to continue to earn a living, stay in peak competitive shape, and play the game that we love while the unfortunate league-imposed lockout is in place.”
Deal to sell 76ers done
Philadelphia — The Philadelphia 76ers have been sold to New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, ending Comcast-Spectacor’s 15-year run of ownership that included a trip to the NBA finals.
The tentative deal, which does not include ownership of their building, the Wells Fargo Center, must be approved by the NBA.
Wade undecided on ‘12 Olympics
Davie, Fla. — Dwyane Wade is revisiting the site of his 2008 Olympic triumph later this summer. Whether he’ll be going with the U.S. to the London Games remains unclear.
Taking a break from hosting a basketball camp for hundreds of children, Wade said Wednesday his decision on next year’s Olympics “depends on a lot of things” and that he was not leaning one way or another.