(CN) – A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted former major league pitcher Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress when he testified that he never used anabolic steroids or human-growth hormone, and that his former strength coach injected him only with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine.
“In truth and in fact, as Clemens well knew when he gave his testimony, Clemens knowingly received injections of anabolic steroids and HGH while he was an MLB player,” the indictment states.
The six-count indictment charges the former New York Yankee with one count of obstructing Congress, two counts of perjury and three counts of making false statements when he testified before a congressional subcommittee about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in major league baseball.
The hearings were held following the release of the 2006 Mitchell report, which stemmed from an investigation led by former Sen. George Mitchell. The 409-page report detailed multiple allegations of performance-enhancing drug use in professional baseball, including former trainer Brian McNamee’s claim that he injected Clemens several times with anabolic steroids.
In January 2008, a House committee invited Clemens to testify about the accuracy of Mitchell’s report.
Under oath, Clemens repeatedly insisted that he never used steroids or human-growth hormone, both of which are banned in professional baseball, the grand jury charges.
“I am just making it as possibly as clear as I can,” Clemens testified in February 2008, according to the indictment. “I haven’t done steroids or growth hormone.” He later insisted, “I have never used steroids. Never performance-enhancing steroids.”
Clemens allegedly maintained that McNamee had injected him only with the legal substances vitamin B-12 and lidocaine.
The federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., claims these statements were false or misleading.
Clemens “did corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct, and impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry,” the indictment states.
Congress had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Clemens lied under oath, saying his testimony “directly contradicted” McNamee’s sworn testimony that he personally injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human-growth hormone and former teammate Andrew Pettitte’s claim that the pitcher had admitted to him in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken human-growth hormone.
Clemens filed a lawsuit against McNamee in January 2008, claiming the former strength coach defamed him in exchange for prosecutorial immunity. But the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently tossed the claim, saying Clemens can’t sue in Texas courts for allegedly defamatory statements that were not “aimed or directed to Texas.”
The outcome of Tuesday’s indictment will likely affect any appeal.
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