The more the Mitchell Report-baseball steroid-HGH tales fill out in de-tail, the more sordid the details become. The latest sad story comes from Texas, where Andy Pettitte's father acquired illegal HGH for himself -- a seriously ill heart patient -- and his son -- the sore-elbowed pitcher...from a sleazy gym 'trainer' who graduated with son Andy. One more illicit triangle. One more example of the sleazy distribution networks for illegal PEDs.
The trainer's name is Kelly Blair who appears pectoral deep in doping athletes. Blair operates a gym where pro athletes abound, including Roger Clemen's son Koby. How tangled is this dope ring?
The link between Pettitte's father and the trainer became apparent in the Congressional questioning last week (Kelly Blair's website):
The (Congressional) committee published the deposition Wednesday upon concluding its madcap inquiry into Roger Clemens' denunciation of the Mitchell Report. In a remarkable act of candor, Pettitte insisted on making his story public by putting it on the record:
Q: Do you have any idea where your father obtained the HGH?
Q: Where is that?
A: The gym that he works out in. A guy that's the trainer there.
The News has learned that Kelly Blair is the unnamed trainer. The gym that he owns is 1-on-1 Elite Personal Fitness, which recently moved to a more modest location in Pasadena because, Blair told someone close to the gym, he couldn't afford the lease. Blair did not respond to recent requests for comment and did not participate in this story. He has been outside of the United States for the last several weeks.
Here is a tie in with incredible bizarre twists and turns:
Last month, a whistleblower close to the gym (who requested anonymity in exchange for coming forward) began describing to The News the many shipments of human growth hormone and steroids that this person said moved through the gym, including Dynabol, Winstrol-V, and Deca-Durabolin.
The drugs came from a variety of sources - from steroid-user Craig Titus, a champion bodybuilder who is facing a murder trial in Nevada for the slaying of Melissa James, his former live-in assistant, and from an HIV-positive man who used HGH to stem the muscle-wasting caused by his disease, according to the News' source.
Titus pleaded guilty in 1995 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute ecstasy in Louisiana. He was sentenced to 16 months' house arrest but violated his probation in 1997 by testing positive for steroids. Titus and wife Kelly Ryan were accused of murdering James at the couple's home in 2005. Lawyers for Titus did not return phone calls asking for comment.
Blair, once a football and track star at Deer Park High, then allegedly sold these same substances to some of his customers, turning his gym into a junior-varsity version of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO, according to the whistleblower.
Besides Pettitte, the professional athletes who have stood beside Blair in pictures he proudly displayed on the wall of his gym include eight other major leaguers, several pro golfers, an NFL quarterback and various stars of the Ultimate Fighting Championship league.
Also seen working with Blair was Koby Clemens - the son of Roger Clemens, Pettitte's close friend and the subject of much of his congressional testimony. Clemens' spokesman Joe Householder declined to comment, but it has not been suggested Koby Clemens, now a minor league ballplayer, was linked to any illicit activity at the gym.
Brian McNamee emerged as a source for the story too. The Texas trainer Blair -- he appears to be cut from the same cloth as Roger Clemens -- don't know a thing.
But according to attorneys for Brian McNamee, the pivotal accuser in the report and the hearing, Tom Pettitte told McNamee that he had picked up human growth hormone in the parking lot of a gym near Pettitte's hometown.
McNamee also told federal investigators in recent weeks about Tom Pettitte's use. These are the same authorities that uncovered the BALCO ring. And they are the same authorities that could end up prosecuting Clemens if it is determined that he lied to Congress over the last month.
"McNamee warned Tom that he could get his son in trouble," said a source close to the investigation. "He told him to be careful." (Pettitte, in his Feb. 4 deposition, told Congress that it was through McNamee that he first learned of his father's HGH use).
Pursuing these allegations, The News e-mailed several requests for interviews to Blair, who replied on Jan. 21, denying that the four-time World Series champion had ever even visited his gym.
"I have NEVER worked with Andy Pettitte," Blair wrote, even though The News had not yet raised Pettitte's name at that point. "He is just a family friend, he has never even been in my gym. Sorry I can't help you with your story!!!"
But the News found a photo on the gym's Web site showing Blair and Pettitte together there, and several associates of Blair's said the two men have remained friends.
Pettitte's father's search for remedies for his cardiac problems led him to HGH (ironically a hormone that increases cardiac problems in some patients). This action the led Pettitte to more HGH use, and may further cloud the halo Pettitte wears for being an honest man.