Debbie Clemens (By Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
By Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON -- Testifying at her husband's perjury trial Friday, Roger Clemens' wife said that she received a human growth hormone injection in 2000.
Debbie Clemens said her interest in HGH was sparked by a 2000 USA TODAY cover story that described HGH as a "youth drug," something that celebrities were using to stay young. The story's headline was "Boomers believe they've found a fountain of youth in syringe."
Mrs. Clemens said she spoke briefly with her husband's then-strength coach, Brian McNamee, who said he could inject her with HGH. She said he injected her stomach with HGH a few days after she read the USA TODAY article, dated Nov. 15, 2000.
"It was what I wanted to do," Mrs. Clemens said. "I didn't really think about Brian McNamee not being a doctor. I thought he was fully capable."
Defense attorney Rusty Hardin asked Mrs. Clemens if she thought the injection was a big deal at the time. "No, and I still don't," she said.
Prosecutors questioned the time frame that Mrs. Clemens outlined. The government presented a USA TODAY article from Nov. 4, 2003, that focused on HGH. Hardin showed her copies of both newspaper articles three years ago, and Mrs. Clemens said the 2000 one was the one that sparked her interest. She also said that her husband retired from the New York Yankees in 2003, so McNamee wouldn't have been at their home to train him if he were retired.
Mrs. Clemens said the injection took place in her master bathroom, and it took about 10 seconds to administer.
"At that moment, (I felt) a little uneasy," she said. "I just had a bad intuition, feeling."
While Mrs. Clemens said she felt "totally comfortable" and "didn't know there was anything bad about it," she said it "might have been a foolish moment to believe (McNamee) at that point. But I didn't have an reason to believe that he would hurt me in any way."
She said her husband wasn't present for the injection and didn't know she was getting the injection. She said she didn't tell him about the injection until she felt she was having "bad circulation" that night. She said he was mad at McNamee.
"It was never discussed again -- period -- by any of the three parties," she said.
Clemens is charged with lying to Congress in 2008 when he said he never took performance-enhancing drugs. McNamee, the government's chief witness, said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and HGH in 2000.
Mrs. Clemens' testimony contradicts McNamee's. He told the jury that Clemens knew about the injection -- even asked McNamee to obtain the drugs for Debbie -- and was present for it.
McNamee also testified that Mrs. Clemens received the shot around the time of a 2002 Sports Illustrated photo shoot.
Also Friday, Mrs. Clemens showed a receipt from a golf pro shop from June 9, 1998, the day of a party at Jose Canseco's house in Florida that Clemens was alleged to have attended. McNamee testified he presumed Canseco and Clemens were discussing performance-enhancing drugs at the party.
The receipt was time-stamped 8:58 a.m., and Mrs. Clemens said she, her husband, her brother and a friend played golf for the next 4 or 4 1/2 hours. She said her family went to Canseco's house later in the day but did not attend any sort of a party.
In Clemens' 2008 deposition, Clemens said that he was not at Canseco's house on June 9, 1998. He also said in 2008 that his wife was injected with HGH in 2003. These are two of the 13 alleged false or misleading statements that make up the criminal charges against Clemens.