Several years ago, the world of professional baseball was rocked by a long string of allegations and extensive federal investigations into the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Several of baseball’s biggest stars were accused of taking steroids, which stained many individual reputations and the repute of baseball as a whole.
Roger Clemons, former pitcher for the Houston Astros, is once again on trial for committing perjury in relation to supposed drug offenses. The trial recently resumed after there was a mistrial declared last year, which happened as the prosecutors used evidence that had previously been deemed inadmissible.
The Houston-based athlete denies all claims that he used human growth hormone to boost his in-game performance. Meanwhile, he faces six charges, including perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congressional procedures for apparently lying during investigations. If convicted on all charges, he could spend 30 years in a federal prison.
After spending millions of dollars and many years on their investigations and trials, the federal government has yet to secure any major convictions. Last year, Barry Bonds was found guilty of one minor charge, though he had faced numerous drug charges for his alleged steroid use. If the government is once again unsuccessful in their prosecution, it will lead many to question the necessity of the costly investigations and trials.
In response to the charges, Clemons and his legal team are aggressively working to discredit the evidence and witnesses the prosecution plans to bring forward during trial. The prosecution’s primary witness is a strength trainer who claims to have injected many players with drugs. Past statements made by the trainer indicate that he admits to not always being truthful about his claims of administering performance-enhancing drugs.
This particular trial demonstrates the lengths federal prosecutors will go to in order to achieve a guilty verdict. Despite years of investigations and next to no success in court, the government has maintained serious efforts to make their charges stick. Of course Clemons takes the charges leveled against him very seriously, as he has hired several attorneys to represent him in court. These charges would permanently stain Clemons’ already tainted reputation. As the trial proceeds, Clemons and his legal representatives will have to do their best to continue to challenge the prosecution’s evidence in order to receive a fair outcome.
Source: KPRC-TV Houston, “New Clemens trial begins, with more prosecutors,” April 16, 2012