Tejada charged with lying
Remarks to Congress on teammate at issue
All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada has been charged with lying to Congress about an ex-teammate's use of steroids, the latest baseball player to get caught up in a web of cheating and juicing that has stained the sport.
Tejada is expected to plead guilty in court today. The charges against him were outlined in documents filed yesterday in federal court in Washington.
The teammate is not identified but is referred to as having played with Tejada on the Athletics. Tejada won the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player award while playing for Oakland and is a five-time All-Star. He now plays for the Astros.
The documents indicate that a plea agreement has been reached with Tejada. The court papers were filed a day after Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez acknowledged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The FBI also is investigating whether Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner, lied to Congress last year when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone. Clemens and Rodriguez top a list of big name, drug-tainted stars, including Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco, whose actions cast doubt on their on-field accomplishments.
Tejada faces as much as a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor charge of making misrepresentations to Congress. Under federal guidelines, he would probably receive a lighter sentence.
The new chairman of the congressional committee that grilled players about steroids in baseball in recent years said he does not think lawmakers need to hear from Rodriguez.
"The American people need leaders who will focus on stemming job losses and getting credit to flow in the marketplace before hearing from yet another person who cheated both himself and the game of baseball," said House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns, a Democrat from New York.
Towns plans to monitor baseball's drug-testing policy and did not rule out the possibility of later hearings.
In the wake of the A-Rod bombshell, former Players Association founder Marvin Miller defended the union's conduct in an ESPN.com interview and accused the federal government and major drug testing bodies of engaging in a witch hunt against prominent athletes.
But Miller, 91, said union leaders are also now paying for their decision to bow to public and congressional pressure and enter into an agreement to institute mandatory testing in 2004.
"When [union officials] agreed on a testing program, I said, 'They're going to regret this, because you're going to see players going to jail,' " he said.
On the Yankees front, shortstop Derek Jeter said in Tampa he watched Rodriguez's confession but plans to put off discussing it publicly until the media mob that covers the team arrives for spring training.
Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner backed Rodriguez.
"I'm not angry at him at all, and I support him 100 percent," Steinbrenner said. "We support him, and we're going to do everything we can to make this season a successful one."
Meanwhile, former American League MVP Canseco, who in a pair of books revealed details on drug use in baseball and in the second book said he introduced Rodriguez to a steroid dealer, weighed in on the issue, saying he hopes to meet with commissioner Bud Selig and union head Donald Fehr soon to help baseball deal with the fallout from the steroid era.
"I think I have the ear of the nation now," Canseco said. "I think everyone realizes I have not in any way, shape or form tried to create smoke and mirrors like Major League Baseball has and the players have. I have been excruciatingly honest about what's going on in baseball."
Finally, the fate of the list of 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in an anonymous survey in 2003, from which Rodriguez's name was leaked, will be determined next by 11 appeals court judges in California. After much legal wrangling and many court decisions, with the Players Association trying to get the records back and destroy them, and prosecutors possibly hoping to bring those players before grand juries, oral arguments were heard by the 11-judge panel in December, and it's uncertain when a decision will be issued.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced indictments against Dr. Richard Lucente and his New York Anti-Aging & Wellness Medical Services on Staten Island. A third defendant is Lowen's Pharmacy in Brooklyn.
All three defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy; Lucente faces 76 additional counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of reckless endangerment.
"He gained a reputation as someone who would sell to any bodybuilder, weightlifter, or athlete," Hynes said of Lucente.
Lowen's pharmacy first made headlines in 2007, when state narcotics agents raided it and seized HGH and steroids. Those raids were part of a probe by the Albany County district attorney's office into steroids-peddling clinics and pharmacies in New York, Florida, Alabama, and Texas.
In a case involving one of those clinics, Paul Byrd, who pitched for the Red Sox last season, admitted he spent $25,000 on HGH from 2002-05 at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Rejuvenation Center, an anti-aging clinic.
Byrd said he had a tumor of the pituitary gland sapping his hormone levels and said a doctor legally prescribed the HGH. The doctor turned out to be a Florida dentist who wrote two of the prescriptions and was later disbarred for fraud and incompetence.