Not since George Brett’s hemorroids has a baseball legend’s rear end been the subject of so much scrutiny. From the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt :

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.

Clemens has said that he received injections from McNamee at various times but has maintained that they contained either vitamin B12 or the painkiller lidocaine. Although any needle injection can lead to an abscess, an antidoping expert said that steroid injections in particular are known for creating abscesses.

œIt 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. œSteroid 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.

œThe Clemens camp is engaged in a smear campaign against Brian McNamee, Ward said. œAs 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.

At the risk of piling on, I cannot believe former Senator Mitchell nor the New York Times has bothered to quiz the one person who could most assuredly confirm or deny needle marks in the Rocket’s butt. Recently, anyway.