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Houston Judge Dismisses Bulk of Roger Clemens’ Defamation Suit Linked to Steroids

Winning baseball star Roger Clemens lost a serious round in civil court. Meanwhile, the FBI is trying to figure out whether he lied to Congress. That probe could eventually land him on the prison softfball team.

By MARY FLOOD
Houston Chronicle

Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens

HOUSTON — A Houston federal judge on Thursday dismissed most of pitcher Roger Clemens’ defamation lawsuit against the ex-trainer who says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone.
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled that Brian McNamee did indeed have an immunity from being sued for the comments he made about Clemens to Sen. George Mitchell’s investigators in a Major League Baseball sponsored look at steroid abuse in the sport.
The judge found that evidence shows prosecutors threatened trainer McNamee that if he did not talk to Mitchell, he could have become a target of a criminal investigation. The judge therefore ruled McNamee was compelled to speak to Mitchell as part of a government proceeding and could not be sued for defamation for his comments.
The judge also ruled that he does not have jurisdiction over McNamee for Clemens’ complaints about McNamee’s statements made to Mitchell or statements made to a Sports Illustrated reporter because the statements were made in New York by McNamee, who lives in New York.
The judge suggested Clemens could refile his complaint about McNamee’s interview with the reporter in a New York court.
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