Roger Clemens' Statement - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Roger Clemens' Statement

Roger Clemens' opening statement before the

United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and

Government:

Chairman Waxman and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for inviting me to be here today. Before I begin, I

would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and

friends of Representative Tom Lantos. I did not know Congressman

Lantos, but I have learned about him in preparation for my

appearance before this Committee. I understand that he was a

Holocaust survivor and that he lived a life full of courage,

conviction and accomplishment. I know that his passing is a

heartfelt loss to this Committee and our country.

I appreciate the opportunity to tell this Committee and the

public - under oath - what I have been saying all along: I have

never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of

illegal performance enhancing drugs. I think these types of drugs

should play no role in athletics at any level, and I fully support

Senator Mitchell's conclusions that steroids have no place in

baseball. However, I take great issue with the report's allegation

that I used these substances. Let me be clear again: I did not.

I have tried to model my baseball career, and indeed my entire

life, on the premise that "your body is your temple." The

suggestion that I would use steroids or other illegal drugs is

totally incompatible with who I am and what I stand for. I have

worked hard to succeed at every level. I have given speeches to

young people all over the country about the dangers of taking

shortcuts to reach your goals. Steroids are a dangerous shortcut. I

have made no secret about my feelings on this subject, and I

practice what I preach.

I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I was not

born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My stepfather died when I was

a young boy. I was raised by a hardworking mother and grandmother

who took care of and provided for six children. My mother was a

wonderful woman who sacrificed her own needs for the needs of her

children. My mother worked several jobs to make sure that I always

had new sporting equipment, even though she often went without new

clothes. My mother insisted that I attend college, despite that

fact that professional baseball teams approached me after high

school.

My mother nurtured my interest in sports, including baseball,

from a very young age. She taught me through her example that hard

work and determination were the only ways to be successful and

reach goals. Shortcuts were never an option. It probably comes as

no surprise that I firmly believe that much of what I have

accomplished would not have been possible without the valuable

lessons instilled in me by my mother and grandmother.

I have not gotten to where I am today by accident. My hard work

and dedication were instrumental to me achieving many career goals.

The awards, accomplishments, and milestones I have achieved during

my career have been fully documented by the media and I will not

repeat them here. I will say, however, that none of these

accomplishments came easily and none of them came in a bottle of

steroids or human growth hormone.

I cherish my major league baseball experience, but I have always

said that baseball is what I do; it is not who I am. Anyone who has

spent time around me knows that my family is and has always been my

top priority. My wife, Debbie, and my sons - Koby, Kory, Kacy, and

Kody - mean more to me than anything in this world. Having said

that, baseball has definitely provided me with significant

opportunities off the field.

I have had the privilege and honor to visit our troops in

Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan and salute them as our nation's true

role models. Through the work of my foundation, I have had many

chances to influence special needs youngsters. I have had many

chances to influence young athletes who have just begun to

experience the value and challenges of working with a team to

achieve a common goal. These experiences mean as much to me, if not

more, than anything I ever accomplished on the field.

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work

with many trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and other

professionals to try to educate myself and to use the knowledge

they had to keep my body in the best shape it could possibly be.

Brian McNamee was one of the many people I met and worked with

during my career.

I met McNamee while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998. I

trusted him, put my faith in him, and brought him around my family

and my children. I treated him just like I have done others I have

met in my life; like family. There were times over the years in

which I wondered about what kind of person he was and what he was

doing when he was not around me. I questioned McNamee about these

things, and at the end of the day, I was willing to take him at his

word and give him the benefit of the doubt.

McNamee was good at what he did - helping me exercise, diet, and

stay in shape. We shared an interest in grueling, military-style

workouts, but I never asked him nor did he ever give me steroids or

human growth hormone. I had no idea that this man would exploit the

trust I gave him to try to save his own skin by making up lies that

have devastated me and my family.

I am a positive person and enjoy doing things for others. I am

not just a ballplayer; I am a human being. As I said before,

baseball is what I do; it is not who I am. I played the game

because of my love and respect for it, and I pride myself as an

example for kids, my own as well as others. I have always tried to

help anyone who crossed my path who was in need.

But here we are now, with me being accused of using steroids and

cheating the game of baseball. If I am guilty of anything, it is of

being too trusting of others; wanting to see the best in everyone;

and being nice to everyone. If I am considered to be ignorant

because of that, then so be it.

I have chosen to live my life with a positive attitude. Yet I am

accused of being a criminal and I am not supposed to be angry about

that?

If I keep my emotions in check, then I am accused of not caring.

When I kept quiet at the advice of my attorney until he could

find out why in the world I was being accused of these things, I

was accused of having something to hide, so I am guilty.

When I did speak out, I was accused of protesting too much, so I

am guilty.

People who make false accusations should not be allowed to

define another person's life. I have freely and without question

shared the talents God gave me with children, young and old, and

will continue to do so. I have been blessed with a will and heart

that carry me on in life. I have had thousands of calls and e-mails

from friends, working partners, teammates, fans, and men that have

held the highest office in our country telling me to stand strong.

These words are very welcomed during some very tough times for my

family and me.

Do I think steroids are good for helping someone's performance?

No. In fact, I think they are detrimental. Should there be more

extensive testing? Yes. I think whatever is necessary for everyone

involved to satisfy themselves that it is not going on, should be

done.

At the end of the day, I have been accused of doing something

that I did not do.

I have been asked to prove that I did not do it. How in the

world can I prove a negative?

No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have

my name restored. I know that a lot of people want me to say that I

have taken steroids and be done with it.

But I cannot in good conscience admit to doing something that I

did not do; even if it would be easier to do so. That is not the

type of person I am. Instead, I will try to set the record

straight, and I will do so directly to Congress and under oath. I

have been told that by doing this, I am subjecting myself to

possible criminal prosecution. I know that some people will still

think I am lying no matter what I say or do. And I know that

because I've said that I didn't take steroids, it will look like an

attack on Senator Mitchell's report. I am not saying Senator

Mitchell's report is entirely wrong and I am not trying to convince

those who have already made up their minds based only on an

allegation.

For those with an open mind, however, I am saying that Brian

McNamee's statements about me are wrong. Once again, I never took

steroids or human growth hormone.

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