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Justices deny pitcher Clemens' defamation suit

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
  • Clemens wanted to sue his former trainer for defamation
  • The high court let stand a lower court ruling tossing the suit
  • The case is separate from Clemens' upcoming federal perjury trial

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a ruling on a defamation lawsuit filed by former star baseball player Roger Clemens against his former trainer, Brian McNamee, over alleged steroid use.

A federal appeals court this spring had tossed out the suit, prompting the high court petition. The justices without comment Tuesday let stand that earlier decision.

The suit is separate from Clemens' upcoming federal perjury trial, which is scheduled to begin next month. He is charged with lying to Congress in 2008 about whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. McNamee is scheduled to be a government witness against Clemens in the felony case.

Clemens had separately sued after McNamee told federal investigators and former Sen. George Mitchell -- who was investigating steroid used in Major League Baseball -- that he personally injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.

Clemens has adamantly denied taking performance-enhancing substances.