Jury says Clemens ‘not guilty’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Give Roger Clemens one more victory, one that offers validation — at least in a legal sense — to the 354 games he won as one of the most accomplished pitchers in baseball history.
Instead of hugs on the mound from teammates, this one wrapped up with hugs from his family in the courtroom, with Clemens’ wife dabbing his moist eyes with a tissue.
It was a courthouse shutout for The Rocket vs. the government of the United States: acquittal Monday on all half-dozen counts that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“I put a lot of hard work into that career,” said Clemens, who had to stop and collect himself and fight back tears as he spoke to reporters outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, a few blocks from the House office building where he testified four years ago. “And so again I appreciate my teammates who came in and all the emails and phone calls. Thank y’all very much.”
A trial that lasted into a 10th week produced less than 10 hours of jury deliberation over several days, capping an expensive, five-year investigation that is now another blow to the government’s legal pursuit of athletes accused of illicit drug use.
Clemens, 49, was charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing Congress when he testified at a deposition and at a nationally televised hearing in February 2008.
The charges centered on his repeated denials that he used steroids and HGH during a 24-year career with the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Astros that produced a record seven Cy Young Awards.