Baseball

Roger Clemens sues ex-trainer for defamation: report

Roger Clemens beat Brian McNamee to court, filing a defamation suit against his former trainer, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Roger Clemens beat Brian McNamee to court, filing a defamation suit against his former trainer, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Star pitcher Clemens filed the suit Sunday night, just before his interview with CBS's 60 Minutes was about to air, the paper reported on its website early Monday. Clemens claims McNamee was threatened with jail if he didn't connect the pitcher to steroids, according to the suit, the Chronicle reported.

"All of McNamee's accusations are false and defamatory per se," the lawsuit said, according to the Chronicle. "They injured Clemens's reputation and exposed him to public hatred, contempt, ridicule and financial injury. McNamee made the allegations with actual malice, knowing they were false."

Clemens, who was scheduled to hold a late afternoon news conference Monday in Houston, asked the Harris County civil courts to declare that he has not defamed McNamee, the paper said.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who spent an injury-riddled 2007 MLB season with the New York Yankees, sounded indignant and defiant in his first interview since McNamee accused him of using steroids and human growth hormone, setting up a potential confrontation if the pair testify under oath at a Jan. 16 hearing on Capitol Hill.

The most prominent player implicated in last month's Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball, Clemens maintained his innocence and called McNamee's allegations "totally false."

"If he's doing that to me, I should have a third ear coming out of my forehead. I should be pulling tractors with my teeth," said Clemens, who wore a lavender button-down shirt during the 60 Minutes interview, taped Dec. 28 at his home in Katy, Texas.

On Friday, when the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform invited Clemens and McNamee to testify, the pair spoke by telephone, an individual close to the situation said, speaking on condition of anonymity because public comments weren't authorized.

The conversation first was reported Sunday by Newsday.

The individual would not say what was discussed.

Clemens's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told the Chronicle that it was McNamee who arranged to talk to Clemens on Friday, but instead of getting back to Clemens, the conversation was leaked "with spin" to Newsday.

"We kept thinking McNamee might change his mind, and come to his senses and admit he was lying," Hardin told the Chronicle.

McNamee also had been contemplating a suit.

"We welcome a lawsuit. It makes our decision easy," Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers, said earlier Sunday. "If he sued McNamee, it would make things very simple."