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Entries in Steroids (13)

Tuesday
Jul052011

Roger Clemens Trial Set to Begin

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The trial for seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens begins Wednesday with jury selection, and the defense may be bolstered after indications that Judge Reggie Walton may limit questions to Clemens' former Yankee teammates about injections of performance enhancing drugs they reportedly received from former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee, the government's star witness in the case.

Judge Walton said that he is not likely to allow prosecutors to question Clemens' former Yankee teammates Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton and Andy Pettitte, that they received injections of steroids and performance enhancing drugs from McNamee. The men are expected to be called as witnesses by federal prosecutors in the trial, which is expected to last four to six weeks. Clemens has stated that the injections were vitamin b12 and lidocaine. Walton said it may not be fair to Clemens to have the jury hear that all three of the teammates received performance enhancing drugs from McNamee. "If he did not know what he is receiving? That's a real danger." Walton said about Clemens and his defense.

Clemens was indicted last August on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements as a result of testimony he gave to Congress regarding use of performance enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH. Clemens is charged with making the false statements to congressional investigators in a Feb. 5, 2008 deposition. The perjury charges arose from his Feb. 13, 2008 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Judge Walton also limited Clemens defense attorney's use of claims that Brian McNamee was involved in an alleged rape and sexual assault in October 2001 when McNamee was found in a pool with a woman who was incoherent. While McNamee was never charged in the incident, Clemens' defense team wanted to highlight that McNamee lied to police investigators about it.

The defense wants to impeach McNamee's credibility as the government's key witness, contending that McNamee was fearful of being linked to steroid dealer Kirk Radomski when federal investigators approached him in 2007. Clemens' lawyers wanted to show that McNamee was trying to save his own skin when he named Clemens as someone who he had allegedly provided steroids. Judge Walton told the lawyers that the defense could only refer to the alleged rape investigation as a "criminal investigation" to the jury.

McNamee cooperated with investigators for the Mitchell Report, which examined steroids in baseball on behalf of Major League Baseball. McNamee's claims in the report that he injected Clemens with steroids and growth hormone in 1998, 2000, and 2001 were among its most significant revelations. The report led to congressional hearings that saw Clemens squaring off with McNamee.

With jury selection expected to last several days, one issue that could delay the trial is a defense request to obtain audio recordings of Clemens interviews in February 2008 with House investigators. Prosecutors plan to read portions of the transcript of the interview to the jury, but the defense wants the audio tapes to be played. The issue is complicated by the fact that the recordings were made by the House Clerk's office. The transcripts were released when the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked that the transcripts be made available as part of their investigation, but the audio recordings were never released. Judge Walton said he had concerns about trying to get them since the recordings would be protected by the Speech and Debate clause limiting the powers of the Executive branch to compel Congress to take certain actions. Walton urged the prosecutors to see if the committee would request that the audio recordings be released. Clemens' defense attorney Rusty Hardin said: "There is a lurking due process issue here--not being able to hear the tone and voice [of Mr. Clemens.]"

Opening arguments are scheduled for July 11.

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Thursday
Apr212011

Roger Clemens' Defense Lays Out Trial Strategy, Calls McNamee 'Congenital Liar'

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Roger Clemens' defense attorneys Thursday laid out a key part of their defense strategy for July's upcoming trial, revealing that they intend to show that Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, has continually lied about Clemens' alleged steroid use.

"There's congenital liar syndrome," said Rusty Hardin, Clemens' defense attorney, at a pre-trial hearing. "We will contend that he [McNamee] is still lying to these prosecutors even today."

Hardin motioned to the two assistant U.S. attorneys who plan to call McNamee as one of their key witnesses.

Clemens was indicted last August on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements for testimony he gave to Congress regarding any use of performance-enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH. Clemens is charged with making the false statements to congressional investigators in a Feb. 5, 2008 deposition, and the perjury charges involve his Feb. 13, 2008 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Hardin argued at the preliminary hearing before Judge Reggie Walton of the need to obtain documents and memos from former Sen. George Mitchell's law firm, DLA Piper, which conducted the work for the Mitchell Report that reported the findings of Major League Baseball's investigation into steroid use.

The Clemens defense team subpoenaed documents from DLA Piper relating to interviews Mitchell Report investigators did with former big leaguer Jose Canseco, McNamee and Kirk Radomski, an admitted steroid dealer who pleaded guilty to money laundering and selling anabolic steroids and HGH.

Thursday's hearing focused on efforts by Mitchell's law firm to quash the subpoena, citing attorney-client privilege and attorney work product.

Attorneys from DLA Piper argued that their work, limited to 20 documents, was attorney work product and that the files were prepared in anticipation of litigation stemming from Mitchell's investigation. They told the court that they had handed over some documents to the Clemens' defense team but the other documents were protected.

Hardin alleged that McNamee has kept changing his story even from his first meeting with federal prosecutors and later with claims about physical evidence he had.

Walton ruled from the bench that he would review the documents that DLA Piper has in its possession and will decide if they should be turned over to Clemens defense team.

Walton denied a defense request to seek additional documents from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Counsel for the House of Representatives argued that the documents are protected under the speech and debate clause of the Constitution, which isolates the executive branch from interfering with Congress.

Walton added that the information Clemens' lawyers were seeking was obtainable in other ways.

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Wednesday
Apr132011

Barry Bonds Found Guilty of Obstruction of Justice

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A jury determined Wednesday that former baseball player Barry Bonds is guilty on one of four charges, but they were deadlocked on the other three charges.

Bonds, found guilty on one charge of obstruction of justice, was also charged with three counts of lying to a grand jury.

Prosecutors in the case tried to prove that Bonds -- a former player for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants who holds the record for the most career home runs -- lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he said that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

The obstruction of justice charge arose from Bonds' unwillingness to cooperate in the government's federal steroid investigation into the former Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO).

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