Washington — Roger Clemens was vehement: “Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH,” he told a House committee in 2008. Now, instead of the Hall of Fame, baseball’s seven-time Cy Young winner could go to prison after being indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday for allegedly lying to Congress.
The case writes a new chapter in one of baseball’s worst scandals, the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs in the 1990s and early 2000s, and leaves Clemens’ legacy in jeopardy.
The six-count indictment alleges that Clemens obstructed a congressional inquiry with 15 different statements made under oath, including denials that he had ever used steroids or human growth hormone.
Former Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, the top Republican on the House panel at the time of Clemens’ testimony, called it “a self-inflicted wound.”
Clemens had been prominently mentioned in the Mitchell Report, Major League Baseball’s own accounting of its steroid problem, and he went to Capitol Hill on his own to clear his name.
“Clemens was not under subpoena. He came voluntarily,” Davis said. “And I sat there in the office with (committee chairman) Henry Waxman and said, ’Whatever you do, don’t lie.”’
Clemens was sticking to his story Thursday.
“Roger is looking forward to his day in court,” Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin told a news conference. “He is happy this has finally happened. We have known for some time this was going to happen. We’ll let everything get taken care of in court.”
Yankees place Berkman on DL
New York — Lance Berkman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday by the New York Yankees because of a sprained right ankle.
Woods to compete for FedEx Cup
Paramus, N.J. — Tiger Woods is playing the first FedEx Cup playoff event with hopes that it’s not his last. Woods on Thursday officially entered The Barclays, which starts Aug. 26. It’s the first of four playoff events that conclude with the Tour Championship and a $10 million prize to the winner.
Atwal ties Wyndham record
Greensboro, N.C. — Arjun Atwal tied a tournament record with a 61 on Thursday and took a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Wyndham Championship.
Matching Carl Pettersson’s 2-year-old mark at the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club course, Atwal was 9 under through the first round.
Weibring, Lehman share lead
Sunriver, Ore. — D.A. Weibring and Tom Lehman shot 5-under-par 67s Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Jeld-Wen Tradition at Crosswater Club.
Vikings’ Harvin taken to hospital
Eden Prairie, Minn. — Percy Harvin experienced the scariest episode yet in a career plagued by migraine headaches when he collapsed at Minnesota Vikings’ practice Thursday and was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Coach Brad Childress left team headquarters after practice and spent the rest of the afternoon at the hospital with Harvin, who also got visits from coaches and teammates.
Green Bay’s Bigby to miss time
Green Bay, Wis. — Green Bay Packers safety Atari Bigby will miss at least four weeks after having ankle surgery earlier this month.
Cushing’s suspension upheld
Metairie, La. — Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing had his four-game suspension for taking a performance-enhancing drug upheld by the NFL on Thursday, which means he won’t be eligible to play until October.
Big Ben to play, may not start
Latrobe, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers are keeping their starting quarterback a secret. Again.
Ben Roethlisberger will play in Saturday night’s exhibition against the New York Giants — his first game action since drawing a six-game suspension — but coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t say Thursday if he will start.
Broncos sign Orton to extension
Englewood, Colo. — In a surprising move that threw a wrench into Tim Tebow’s designs on taking away Kyle Orton’s quarterback job anytime soon, the Denver Broncos announced Thursday night that they had signed Orton to a contract extension. ESPN reported it was for one year, through 2011, and worth $9 million with $5.5 million guaranteed.
Fernandez fined $25,000
Portland, Ore. — The NBA fined Trail Blazers swingman Rudy Fernandez $25,000 for public statements that are “detrimental” to the league. The fine was imposed on Thursday, a day after Fernandez’s agent said the Spaniard did not want to return to the Blazers this season.
Vincent charged in jobs scam
Detroit — Ex-NBA player and Michigan State star Jay Vincent has been indicted for an Internet employment scam that bilked about 20,000 jobseekers out of about $2 million, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Thursday.
WAC commish orders penalties
Salt Lake City — Fresno State and Nevada should not expect any parting gifts from the other members of the Western Athletic Conference when the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack leave for the Mountain West.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said on Thursday the departing schools will have to pay $5 million to his league and wait until 2012 to move after accepting the MWC’s invitation and dismantling an agreement the WAC was on the verge of completing with BYU.
Bull leaps into stands, 40 injured
Madrid — A bull leapt into the packed grandstands of a Spanish bullring and ran amok, charging and trampling spectators and leaving 40 people injured, regional officials said Thursday. Video showed the bull jumping several meters (yards) high out of the ring, clearing two barriers before landing in the stands and raising a panic as he lurched through the screaming crowd, charging and tossing everything he could.