Reputation on the line, Clemens heads to Washington for the first of his many days in court
On this trip to Washington, Roger Clemens will be in a courtroom, not in Congress. His defiant stance is expected to remain the same, even if his statement is much shorter.
Something along the lines of, "Not guilty."
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in the nation's capital on a six-count indictment alleging he lied to Congress when he said he never used steroids or human growth hormone.
In what should be a short court appearance, Clemens will appear before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, though under U.S. sentencing guidelines, he would probably face no more than 15 to 21 months in prison.
All signs point toward him fighting. He came to Congress after being mentioned repeatedly in the Mitchell Report Ã¢â‚¬â€ the damning breakdown of the sport's steroid problem released in 2007.
In front of a House committee the next year, Clemens said: "Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH." Before his indictment was handed down Aug. 19, Clemens was offered a plea deal that he turned down, and afterward, he showed no signs of backing down.
"I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial," Clemens wrote on Twitter after the indictment. "I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court."
His day in court figures to be one of many in the near future for some of baseball's biggest names Ã¢â‚¬â€ now sullied by steroid-related accusations. All-time home run king Barry Bonds is scheduled to go on trial in March on charges of lying to a federal grand jury when he said he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
The 48-year-old Clemens is charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress.
At the hearing in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, said the pitcher did, in fact, use steroids and HGH. Former teammate Andy Pettitte also told congressional investigators that Clemens told him he had used HGH.
Clemens told Congress that Pettitte "misremembers" the conversation.
All that testimony figures to be rehashed in a trial that could irrevocably tarnish the reputation of one of the most dominant pitchers in history. Over 23 seasons, Clemens recorded 354 wins, 4,672 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.12 Ã¢â‚¬â€ Hall of Fame numbers that might not land him in the Hall of Fame.
Source: AP News
Mochila insert follows...