Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens' former trainer, told a group of Long Island guidance counselors and school administrators Thursday that student-athletes need to be told the truth about the effects of steroids in order to deter them from using the performance-enhancing drugs.
McNamee, a former Yankees assistant strength coach, believes his firsthand experience with steroids gives him the ideal platform to deliver that anti-drug message to today's youth.
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"I made some valuable mistakes in my life, and I got caught up in it," McNamee said during the Nassau Counselors Association's annual conference at Adelphi University. "But there are some valuable [lessons] to have learned from it. People need to know why I got caught up in it."
McNamee testified under oath that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. He is expected to be the government's star witness during the perjury trial of the former Yankees pitcher, which begins next month in Washington.
Speaking to more than 160 people on the Garden City campus, McNamee declined to discuss Clemens or any specifics about his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, citing the judge's gag order.
"Trust me, when this is over, I'll have a lot to say," he told the crowd.
McNamee said this was his first public speech about the dangers of steroids since his association with Clemens brought him into the spotlight, and he hopes it isn't his last.
McNamee said he understands the pressure that student-athletes are under to succeed. A former baseball player at St. John's University, McNamee said he likely would have used performance-enhancing drugs during his playing days if he had the chance to do so and thought it would make him better.
"When I got to Major League Baseball, I didn't walk in with a bag full of steroids," McNamee said. "It was already there. But I blame myself."
McNamee spoke about the importance of educating the student-athletes, parents and coaches about steroids so that when they're faced with a choice, they make the right one.
Christina D'Angelo, a guidance counselor at Lynbrook High School and co-chair of the conference, said a friend recommended McNamee as a speaker. McNamee is the general manager of baseball operations at Long Island Sports Complex in Freeport.