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Baseball: Clemens files suit against ex-trainer, baulks at polygraph

Roger Clemens says he is willing to testify before US Congress but the seven-time Cy Young award winner would likely baulk at taking lie-detector to back up claims he never used steroids.Speaking in his first public appearance since being named in Major League Baseball's recently completed probe into performance-enhancing drugs, an agitated and angry Clemens came out swinging at his critics on Monday."Do you think I played my career because I'm worried about the damn Hall of Fame?" Clemens said."You keep your vote. I don't need the Hall of Fame to justify that I put my butt on the line and I worked my tail off, and I defy anybody to say I did it by cheating or taking any shortcuts."Clemens' lawyer Rusty Hardin said at the news conference that he is strongly opposed to Clemens taking a lie detector."My recommendation is he not do it. I don't trust them," Hardin said. "Though sometimes they are accurate I would never want a client to let his reputation hinge on a polygraph."So we are not going to be taking any polygraph unless he hits me over the head."Clemens saved his biggest verbal salvos for former trainer Brian McNamee, who claims he injected Clemens at least 16 times over four years with steroids and human growth hormone (HGH).Clemens said a defamation lawsuit was filed Sunday against McNamee."Everybody has got ulcers here," Clemens told McNamee in a secretly taped 17-minute telephone conversation on Friday with the ex-trainer."I am just devastated by this. For the life of me I am trying to find out why you would tell guys I used steroids. I am numb, my family is numb and all the calls we get … people are going crazy. It is eating my gut out this whole thing."But when asked on the tape, over-and-over again, by McNamee to tell him what he should do to help, Clemens did not respond directly."What do you want me to do? I'll go to jail, I'll do whatever you want," McNamee said.Clemens later told reporters that having McNamee travel to Houston for a face-to-face meeting would create an awkward situation."I was angry," the 45-year-old Clemens said. "I would love for him to come down here but I would be afraid for him because my family is very upset. And I am trying to keep my composure together through all this."The House Oversight Committee invited Clemens to testify before them on January 16. Clemens confirmed to the Congressional committee on Monday that he would be attending."I am going to Congress and tell the truth," Clemens said. "I will tell everything I know about steroids which isn't a lot. It is not something that is talked about a lot in the clubhouse."It wasn't something I discuss or talk about with teammates unless it is in the news. I am going there to answer questions about me."Clemens did not answer directly and got cross with a questioner when asked if he considered his New York Yankee teammate Andy Pettitte a cheater.Pettitte was also named in the Mitchell Report and has since admitted allowing McNamee to inject him with HGH."My deal on the subject is that it is a self-imposed sentence," Clemens said. "It is a short fix. Guys do it to look good in the lobby and a three-piece suit. Andy is my friend and I am not passing judgment. Can I drink water?"Renowned as one of the best power pitchers in baseball history, Clemens was referenced 82 times in Mitchell report.He owns a career record of 354-194 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts in 24 seasons with the Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.Clemens, who helped the Yankees win World Series titles in 1999 and 2000, was the most prominent player swept up in the 21-month investigation that served as an indictment for baseball's rampant steroid use.McNamee said Monday he is not backing down from his earlier comments, telling Sports Illustrated's website that his statements were accurate.

"I'd rather be called a liar than a drug pusher," McNamee said, explaining that testifying truthfully was the only way to avoid going to jail.