The Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee controversy now becomes a pain in the butt. The New York Times takes aim at a possible Clemens gluteal abscess. Not since George Brett's hemorrhoids has baseball gone this far south.
Brian McNamee told federal authorities last summer that Roger Clemens developed an abscess on his buttocks about the same time that McNamee said he was giving him steroid injections during the 1998 season, according to a lawyer with knowledge of details of the case.
From the perspective of McNamee and his lawyers, confirmation that the abscess existed would add credibility to his assertion that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone on 16 occasions from 1998 to 2001 and that he specifically injected him with the steroid Winstrol in four instances in 1998. In that year, Clemens was pitching for Toronto and McNamee was the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
An abscess in the buttocks? Wouldn't that be a kick in the backside? In fact, abscesses -- infected or sterile -- constitute a side effect of oil-based steroid injections. What a tail.
“It is far less likely that any injection of vitamin B12 or lidocaine, which is usually not injected deep into the body, would have created an abscess,” said Dr. Gary I. Wadler, an internist who is a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency. “Steroid users tend to repetitively inject the drug deep into the muscle and this has been associated with the development of sterile abscess.”
But did Clemens have an abscess in 1998? Three members of the Blue Jays’ organization that season, including one of the team’s two trainers, said in recent interviews that they did not recall any abscess associated with Clemens that year.
If said abscess existed, would it be recorded in Clemens's medical records? If the inflammation was serious it might be recorded, although not every medical side effect becomes part of the official record. This thing may come back to bite Clemens in the butt.
Meanwhile, McNamee’s lead lawyer, Earl Ward, said McNamee believed the treatment of the abscess was noted in Clemens’s medical or training records. He also said that McNamee would be willing to testify under oath about the abscess when he appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 13...
Hardin said that his investigators had sought Clemens’s medical records but that he had not yet seen them. Normally, such records travel with a player when he switches teams. Clemens played for the Yankees in 2007, the latest, and perhaps last, stop in a 24-year career. It was McNamee who served as Clemens’s personal trainer in the latter years of his career.
McNamee's lawyer says Clemens's lawyers are being asses about this whole issue:
“The Clemens camp is engaged in a smear campaign against Brian McNamee,” Ward said. “As part of their investigation, they should focus on Roger’s medical history, which includes the removal of an abscess that he developed in 1998 on his left buttocks, which coincided with shots McNamee gave Clemens of Winstrol.”
In interviews with The New York Times, Tom Craig, a Blue Jays trainer in 1998; Gord Ash, then the team’s general manager; and Dr. Ron Taylor, the team doctor, all said they did not remember Clemens’s being treated for an abscess. Taylor, who remains the team doctor, said he believed it would have been noted in Clemens’s medical records if he had indeed been treated.
Hardin said Craig and Scott Shannon, the other team trainer in 1998, told his investigators that they did not recall Clemens’s being treated for an abscess.
How serious might an abscess be...not all that serious:
Superficial abscesses are readily visible and are red, swollen, painful and warm. Abscesses in other areas of the body may not be obvious and may produce only generalized symptoms such as fever and discomfort. A sterile abscess may cause only a painful lump, for example deep in the buttock where a shot was given. If the abscess is small (less than 1 cm or less than a half-inch across), applying warm compresses/hot soaks to the area for about 30 minutes 4 times daily can help.
So there is where the Clemens's steroid controversy leads us: a puss filled cyst in the Rocket's buttocks.