WASHINGTON — Roger Clemens’ tenacious pursuit of victory on the pitching mound is re-emerging as he enters federal court this week to fight charges he lied about using drugs and ruthlessly tried to discredit the former friend who says he did.
Clemens is charged with perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress for telling a House committee under oath that he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 23-season career. The record-setting pitcher who once seemed a sure bet for baseball’s Hall of Fame now could face prison if 12 jurors agree that he lied and unanimously agree to convict him.
The trial of the United States vs. William R. Clemens, scheduled to begin Wednesday and last 4-6 weeks, will bring a parade of celebrity athletes and plenty of sordid details to the staid Washington federal courthouse. It will feature testimony about illicit drugs, bloody evidence of injections, an abscess on Clemens’ backside allegedly caused by steroid use and allegations that his accuser is a serial liar and a rapist.