Clemens trial opens with talk of PEDs

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, Last Updated: 9:48 PM ET

Roger Clemens' perjury trial began in earnest Wednesday with opening statements.

Prosecutors were said to be intent on showing Clemens was a cheater and lied to Congress about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, while the defense was bent on painting the former pitcher's longtime trainer as someone who fabricated stories about his steroids use.

Clemens pleaded not guilty last August to charges he lied to Congress about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. He has been charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress.

The prosecution showed photographs and said it was in possession of syringes and bloody cotton balls linking Clemens' DNA to PED use, according to media accounts of the proceedings, including those in The New York Times and USA Today.

The Times quoted Clemens' lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, as saying any evidence provided by the government "is never going to get away from the fact that Brian McNamee, to put it delicately, is a liar."

USA Today said the prosecution promised to show jurors it had evidence of the "dates, times, locations and sources" of the former pitchers' alleged steroid use.

The jury consists of 10 women and two men, with four alternates.

The Times quoted lead prosecutor Steven Durham as telling the jury that the government would "corroborate with independent evidence" anything said by the former trainer McNamee, who has claimed in the past that he personally injected Clemens with steroids.

USA Today recounted that Hardin argued Clemens' on-field accomplishments -- which included seven Cy Young Awards (six in the American League) and 354 career wins -- "had nothing to do with steroids."

If convicted, Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and a large fine. Sentencing guidelines, however, call for about 15-21 months in jail. 


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