All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada has been charged with lying to Congress about steroids, the latest baseball player to get caught up in an extensive web of cheating and juicing that has stained the sport.
Tejada is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday where he is
expected to plead guilty. The charges against Tejada, who currently
plays for the Houston Astros, were outlined in documents filed in
Washington federal court on Tuesday.
The documents indicate that a plea agreement has been reached
with Tejada, who won the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player
award while playing for the Oakland Athletics and is a five-time
All-Star. The court papers were filed a day after superstar Alex
Rodriguez acknowledged past use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The New York Yankees third baseman does not face charges.
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 charge came in a legal document called a "criminal
information," which only can be filed with the defendant's consent
and typically signals a plea deal. A hearing is scheduled for 11
a.m. EST Wednesday in Washington, and Tejada and his lawyer plan to
hold a news conference later in the day in Houston.
Messages left for his attorney, Mark Tuohey, were not
In the documents filed Tuesday, Tejada is charged with lying to
investigators for the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform in 2005. Congressional staffers did not place Tejada under
oath when they questioned him, but they advised him "of the
importance of providing truthful answers," according to the court
During the interview, Tejada denied knowledge of an
ex-teammate's use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The teammate is not identified in court documents, but is
referred to as having played with Tejada on the Athletics.
Tejada "unlawfully withheld pertinent information from the
committee because defendant Tejada, before and during his interview
with the committee staff, then and there well knew that player #1,
one of his teammates on the Oakland Athletics, had used steroids
and HGH," the papers state.
Former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who chaired the
committee in 2005, said he believed Tejada lied.
"It just shows that when you do something illegal like this,
that you pay a price," Davis said in an interview with The
The court papers filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham
charge that during spring training in 2003, Tejada had purchased a
substance believed to be HGH from the player, giving him payments
of $3,100 and $3,200.
In the Mitchell Report, which examined steroid use in baseball,
Oakland outfielder Adam Piatt is cited saying he discussed steroid
use with Tejada and having provided Tejada with testosterone and
human growth hormone.
The Mitchell Report, issued in December 2007, also included
copies of checks allegedly written by Tejada to Piatt in March 2003
for $3,100 and $3,200 - the same payment amounts in Tuesday's court
Tejada came under scrutiny after another ex-teammate, Baltimore
Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro, testified before the House committee.
In January 2008, the House panel asked the Justice Department to
investigate whether Tejada lied to committee investigators when he
was interviewed in connection with the Palmeiro steroids case.
When that same House panel held a hearing in March 2005,
Palmeiro jabbed a finger at lawmakers and declared: "I have never
used steroids, period." Palmeiro was suspended by baseball later
that year after testing positive for a steroid.
The committee looked into whether Palmeiro should face perjury
charges but eventually dropped the matter.
Palmeiro said his positive test must have resulted from a B-12
vitamin injection given to him by Tejada.
That prompted Congress to talk to Tejada.