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U.S. v. Roger Clemens Postponed Due to Rain of Documents

Roger Clemens, the former Major League pitcher who won 354 games in his 24-season career, won a small victory in court today- three more months to prepare his defense against federal felony charges. Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in February 2008 when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and human growth hormone (HGH.)

United States District Judge Reggie Walton granted the extension because of the voluminous evidence in the case and the need for defense lawyers and experts to review it. Prosecutors informed Judge Walton that they have provided approximately 54,000 pages of evidence to Clemens's defense attorneys.

In August, Clemens was indicted on three counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction of justice and two perjury counts. These federal charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Clemens pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In 2007, former Senator George Mitchell released a report on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball. Clemens was implicated in the report and was called to testify before congress in February 2008. Clemens testified that he "never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance-enhancing drugs."

The FBI opened an investigation of Clemens after members of Congress informed the U.S. Attorney General that they believed Clemens lied under oath. His former trainer, Brian McNamee, and Clemens's ex-teammate, Andy Pettitte, have refuted Clemens's testimony. Andy Pettitte told a congressional committee in a deposition and in an affidavit that Clemens admitted to using HGH. McNamee has stated he injected Clemens with steroids.

The trial of Roger Clemens was scheduled to begin April 5, but has now been postponed until July 6. Attorneys for both sides expect that the trial will last about six weeks.

Source: Bloomberg, "Clemens Steroid Perjury Trial Pushed Back Three Months," Michael Riley, 12/8/2010

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