Local trainer says he's tainted by Clemens scandal

August 20, 2010 5:02:51 PM PDT
A former gym owner says he's been tainted by the steroids scandal surrounding former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens. Local trainer Kelly Blair says he testified before a grand jury regarding Clemens, but denies giving the baseball legend any drugs.

On Thursday, we told you that Clemens was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with his February 2008 testimony before a House committee, regarding allegations of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

While we wait to see what's next for Clemens, a local trainer is speaking out on how the scandal has affected his life.

He had gone to college to study physical conditioning and finally achieved his dream of owning his own gym. When Clemens fell from grace amid questions of steroid use, so did Kelly Blair, who says he was pulled mistakenly into the investigation and is now trying to recover.

Blair is a conditioning and strength coach, but his life has changed because of the client he swore to a federal grand jury he never had.

"I never had anything to do with Roger Clemens," said Blair.

Yet he was pulled into it. Blair had a gym in Pasadena, and he knew the family of Andy Pettitte, and he also had he says a disgruntled former employee.

"We have a feeling he's the first one to call. The first people to report on it was the New York Daily News, and he called them and made up a whole bunch of stuff, and that's where it took off," said Blair

Blair's name wound up in a book written by a pair of Daily News reporters on Roger Clemens in the wake of the scandal. He is suing the authors. His attorney brought up one of the portrayals.

"He's the lead person in some underground steroid smuggling ring that originates in Mexico. You make statements like that, they have to be true," said Jason Gibson, Blair's attorney.

A libel lawsuit is underway but not close to being resolved. In the meantime, Blair's life has changed because of the Clemens investigation, which has proved toxic to him.

"Ninety percent of my clientele fell off because of the media, and I finally just had to close my doors," Blair said.

He works out in gyms, but no longer owns one. Judging from his story, he may be a case of collateral damage from the much larger Clemens case. The outcome of that may come down to the credibility of Clemens chief accuser, trainer Brian McNamee, says our legal analyst.

"If they can destroy him, his credibility, then Clemens stands a very good chance of winning the case," said Joel Androphy, KTRK Legal Analyst.

Blair though isn't thinking about the future for Clemens; he's only wondering about his own.

Blair's lawsuit asks for several million dollars in damages. In the meantime, he's just looking for work.


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