As a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Roger Clemens worked his way out of countless jams. On Monday he stared down one of a quite different sort when he entered a not guilty plea in federal court on charges he lied to Congress about never using steroids or human growth hormone.
Clemens, 48, faces six felony charges, including perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statement.
The former all-star pitcher entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, the AP reports.
The charges stem from Clemens' February 2008 appearance before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, and a report by former Sen. George Mitchell on Major League drug use stated Clemens had used banned substances at points in his career.
Clemens, who played 24 seasons for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Astros and Yankees, told the committee that steroid use "is totally incompatible with who I am and what I stand for. I cannot in good conscience admit to doing something that I did not do."
That comment contradicted testimony by McNamee and one-time Yankees/Astros teammate Andy Pettite, who told Mitchell's investigators that Clemens admitted using human growth hormone.
Clemens said the shots he received from his trainer were vitamin B12, which is an allowed substance.
Earlier this month, Clemens reiterated his innocence on Twitter, saying, "I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court."
Career home run champion Barry Bonds is expected to go on trial in March on charges of lying to a federal grand jury when he said he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
, George Mitchell
, human growth hormone
, lying to congress
, major league baseball
, Roger Clemens