Roger Clemens returned to court to fight drug charges this week. The charges stem from accusations of steroid use and come on the heels of a previous failed attempt by prosecutors to try Clemens for the same crimes last year. In that case, a mistrial was declared by the presiding judge when government prosecutors used evidence in the pleadings that had previously been ruled inadmissible. This week’s proceedings against Clemens regarding his alleged steroid use were to select the jury that will either free him or possibly sentence him to serious prison time.
This time prosecutors will focus on proving that Clemens lied to Congress and other government investigators when he denied various claims that he had used performance enhancing drugs during his baseball career that spanned more than 2 decades.
Clemens is a 7 time Cy Young Award winner – professional baseball’s highest award for pitchers. He is considered by many to be among the greatest American pitchers to ever play professional baseball, so these accusations have been taken quite seriously by the government – and by the US public.
Similar accusations were levied against other players including – most famously – Barry Bonds. Bonds is the undisputed homerun champion and was convicted of using performance enhancing drugs; a ruling he is already appealing.
However, Clemens has significant opposition to his claims of innocence; among them his former trainer, Brain McNamee and former teammate Andy Pettitte. While McNamee claims to have injected Clemens with steroids or “performance enhancing drugs,” Pettitte merely claims that Clemens admitted this use to him during a conversation in late 1999 or early 2000. (1)
If convicted Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and more than $1 million dollars in fines, although legal experts claim that’s not likely. However, a conviction just might be the result of this case considering the powerful witness testimony planned by the prosecution from the likes of Jose Canseco, Bud Selig and even Barry Bonds.
Not to be outdone, the Clemens defense team reportedly intends to call Jorge Posada, Mike Stanton and Paul O’Neill, among others.
Judging by the heavy hitting prosecution team, the government intends to make no mistakes this time and indeed is likely concerned with making some progress into professional baseball steroid cases that have largely been unsuccessful, but very high profile. 5 prosecutors have been assigned to work the case; a muscle flexing move some legal analysts – and laymen alike – have said seems to be overkill.
Whatever the case may be, a conviction on these charges will likely have more serious repercussions for professional baseball, which has been plagued by accusations of steroid use by players, strikes and a number of shakeups among team management. Die-hard fans have said that this is painting baseball in an unfavorable light – something a sport that has always been considered wholesome and all-American simply can’t afford.
Like most drugs, steroids can be extremely addictive. If you or someone you love is struggling to break free from a dependence on performance enhancing drugs, you need to take action right now. Start by filling out the insurance verification form to the right of this page, or simply call the number at the top of your screen for an immediate consultation. We can help you end this problem now; once and for all.
(1) Associated Press Feds Bulk up to Retry Clemens over Drug Claims CBS News