All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada has been charged with lying to the US Congress about an ex-teammate’s use of steroids, the latest player to be caught in a web of cheating and juicing that has stained Major League Baseball (MLB).
Tejada was expected to plead guilty in court yesterday. The charges against him were outlined in documents filed on Tuesday in federal court in Washington.
The teammate is not identified in court documents, but he is referred to as having played with Tejada on the Oakland Athletics.
Tejada won the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player award while playing for the Athletics and is a five-time All-Star. He now plays for the Houston Astros.
The documents indicate that a plea agreement has been reached with Tejada. The court papers were filed a day after Alex Rodriguez acknowledged past use of performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Yankees star does not face charges.
Tejada faces as much as a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor charge of making misrepresentations to Congress. Under federal guidelines, the Dominican Republic player 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.
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 papers.
During the interview, Tejada denied knowledge of an ex-teammate’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.
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.
The court papers filed by Assistant US 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 US$3,100 and US$3,200.
In the Mitchell Report on doping in MLB, Oakland outfielder Adam Piatt is cited saying he discussed steroid use with Tejada and had provided Tejada with testosterone and human growth hormone.
The Mitchell Report also included copies of checks allegedly written by Tejada to Piatt in March 2003 for US$3,100 and US$3,200 — the same payment amounts in Tuesday’s court filing.