Baseball star Roger Clemens says he never took anabolic steroids or any other banned performance-enhancing drugs.
"The stuff that's being said, it's ridiculous. It's hogwash for people to even assume this," Clemens said in a taped interview that aired on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday.
It was Clemens' latest attempt to salvage his reputation after last month's release of the Mitchell Report on doping in baseball. Clemens was one of the most prominent players named in the report.
The Mitchell Report released last month revealed testimony by Clemens' long-time personal trainer Brian McNamee, who said he had injected the New York Yankees' pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone several times during three different seasons.
But it wasn't until last night that the public got to hear Clemens answer questions about those allegations.
Wallace Questions Clemens
Clemens' interrogator was the venerable Mike Wallace, who has taken on heads of state and religious leaders.
But, critics noted, Wallace is also Clemens' friend and an occasional visitor to Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner's ballpark suite.
During the interview, Clemens said McNamee never injected him with human growth hormone, testosterone or anabolic steroids.
McNamee's lawyer, Richard Emery, said Clemens' claim makes no sense.
"In order to stay out of jail, Brian had to tell the truth, which is what he did," Emery said.
John Sawatsky, a professional journalist who teaches reporters how to do interviews, says he was disturbed by Wallace's lack of follow-up questions with Clemens.
For instance, Wallace brought up the fact that Clemens' buddy Andy Pettitte admitted McNamee had injected him with steroids, just as McNamee had testified in the Mitchell Report.
"Andy's case is totally separate," Clemens responded.
Sawatsky said Wallace should have asked why it was separate.
"Wallace never asked, 'What is separate about it?' He just dropped it," Sawatsky said.
Wallace did ask Clemens why he was speaking out now, rather than talking to investigators before the Mitchell Report came out in mid-December.
"I listened to my counsel," Clemens said. "I was advised not to. A lot of the players didn't go down and talk to him (Mitchell). But if I would have known what this man, Brian McNamee, would have said in this report, I would have been down there in a heartbeat to take care of it."
In his report, former Sen. George Mitchell wrote, "In order to provide Clemens with information about these allegations and to give him an opportunity to respond, I asked him to meet with me. He declined."
It appears Clemens and several other players will not have that luxury next week on Capitol Hill. They have been invited to testify at a congressional hearing about the Mitchell Report. Clemens says he'll say under oath what he said Sunday night.
Emery insists that what Clemens said is enough to sue for defamation, but he wants to see what happens when this battle goes to Congress.
Clemens, however, has filed a defamation lawsuit against McNamee.