The New York Times is reporting on its website today that federal authorities have decided to indict Roger Clemens on charges of perjury on the basis of statements he made to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Times is reporting that a formal indictment is expected in the near future according to two people who were briefed on the matter.
Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, testified under oath at a hearing before a House committee in February 2008 and contradicted each other about whether Clemens had used the banned substances.
McNamee has told federal agents, baseball investigator George Mitchell and testified before the committee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998-01.
Clemens testified that McNamee was lying.
Specifically, the transcript of Clemens testimony in part before Congress provides:
I appreciate the opportunity to tell this Committee and the public—under oath—
what I have been saying all along: I have never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance enhancing drugs. I think these types of drugs should play no role in athletics at any level, and I fully support Senator Mitchell’s conclusions that steroids have no place in baseball. However, I take great issue with the report’s allegation that I used these substances.
Should the Federal Government Indict Clemens?
I have tried to model my baseball career, and indeed my entire life, on the
premise that “your body is your temple.” The suggestion that I would use steroids or other illegal drugs is totally incompatible with who I am and what I stand for. I have worked hard to succeed at every level. I have given speeches to young people all over the country about the dangers of taking shortcuts to reach your goals. Steroids are a dangerous shortcut. I have made no secret about my feelings on this subject, and I practice what I preach.
Rusty Hardin, Clemens' lead attorney said he was unaware of a pending indictment.
"We've heard nothing," Hardin said by telephone from Houston, "so I can't knowledgeably respond at all."
Earl Ward, one of McNamee's lawyers, said he, too, "had no indication something was coming."
Clemens could be sentenced to prison for up to 5 years if he is ultimately indicted and convicted of committing perjury before Congress.