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Toronto police turn over files in Clemens' perjury case: Clemens' defamatioin suit to be thrown out

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

TORONTO -- Police searched the offices of the Toronto Blue Jays and turned over documents in connection with the perjury case against seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens.

Two officers executed the search in June and assisted the U.S. Justice Department by forwarding the two boxes they obtained, police spokesman Const. Tony Vella said Thursday.

Vella called it a U.S. investigation and said the Blue Jays cooperated with the court order. He declined to say if medical records were obtained.

Clemens pleaded not guilty last month to charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids or human growth hormone. Federal prosecutors didn't believe Clemens' testimony to Congress, and they subsequently charged him with making false statements, perjury and obstruction of Congress.

Clemens won Cy Young Awards in Toronto in 1997 and 1998. Most of the accusations against Clemens are based on the word of Brian McNamee, once the Blue Jays' strength and conditioning coach.

At Clemens' arraignment last week, government attorney Steven Durham said there was "voluminous" scientific evidence that needed to be reviewed before the trial could start, tentatively in April. That presumably includes the syringes McNamee alleges he used to inject the pitcher with drugs. It might also include information from the documents received from the Blue Jays.

"We do not comment about matters pending before courts other than to confirm that it is our policy to comply with all valid legal process," Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse said.

Clemens is facing three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. The 48-year-old pitcher has promised all along to fight the charges.

If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, though under U.S. sentencing guidelines, he probably would get no more than 15 to 21 months in prison.

Any conviction, however, could damage his reputation, future earnings and chances of election to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Clemens had come to Congress after being mentioned repeatedly in the Mitchell Report -- the damning breakdown of the sport's steroid problem released in 2007. Two months later, in front of a House committee, Clemens said: "Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH."

McNamee testified that the pitcher did, in fact, use steroids and HGH. McNamee also worked with Clemens when he was with the New York Yankees.

Former teammate Andy Pettitte also told congressional investigators that Clemens told him he had used HGH. Clemens said Pettitte "misremembers" the conversation.

Clemens ranks ninth on the career list with 354 victories and was an 11-time All-Star. During a 23-year career that ended in 2007, he played for the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays, the Yankees and the Houston Astros.

He left Boston and joined Toronto in 1997 after Boston's general manager at the time, Dan Duquette, said the pitcher was in the "twilight" of his career.