Tejada pleads guilty to lying to Congress

February 11, 2009 8:43:21 AM PST
All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball. Tejada was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2002 while playing for the Oakland Athletics. He now plays for the Houston Astros.

The misdemeanor charge of making misrepresentations to Congress can lead to as much as a year in jail. But federal guidelines call for a lighter sentence.

Tejada's guilty plea grew out of statements he made to House investigators denying that he knew anyone in baseball who used performance-enhancing drugs.

His assertions in 2005 were contradicted by evidence that he had talked to an Oakland teammate about his steroids use and later purchased what he believed was human growth hormone from that player.

Federal authorities also are investigating whether Roger Clemens lied to Congress when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone.

Charges against Tejada were detailed in documents filed in court Tuesday, a day after superstar Alex Rodriguez acknowledged past use of performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Yankees third baseman does not face charges.

Clemens and Rodriguez are atop a list of drug-tainted stars that includes Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, whose actions cast doubt on their on-field accomplishments.

Tejada came under scrutiny after another ex-teammate, the Baltimore Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro, testified before the House committee and declared that he'd never used steroids.

Palmeiro was suspended by baseball later that year after testing positive for steroids. He said the positive result must have been caused by a B-12 vitamin injection given to him by Tejada.


Associated Press writers Howard Fendrich, Matt Apuzzo and Frederic J. Frommer contributed to this report.

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