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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Miguel Tejada Charged With Lying to Congressional Investigators, Pleads Guilty

Miguel Tejada has been charged with lying to congressional investigators. According to the Washington Post, Tejada is charged with making false statements to congressional investigators about conversations he had with other players about performance enhancing drugs. Tejada will reportedly plead guilty.

The charge came in "a criminal information," a document that can be filed only with the defendant's consent and usually signals a plea deal is near. Tejada, who now plays for the Houston Astros, is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. (Feb. 11) in U.S. District Court in Washington, court officials said.

The charge stems from an interview that took place in a Baltimore hotel room on August 26, 2005. During that interview, Tejada reportedly denied using any performance enhancing drugs. He also said he was not aware of any other players using steroids.

In the interview with congressional staffers in 2005, Tejada was asked: "Has there been discussions among other players about steroids?"

"No, I never heard," Tejada said, speaking through a Spanish interpreter.

Later, the investigator asked whether he knew of "any other player using steroids."

"No," Tejada answered. "I didn't know any player."

In the Mitchell Report, Adam Piatt said that he talked with Tejada about performance enhancing drugs and purchased human growth hormone and testosterone for Tejada (presumably from Kirk Radomski) in 2003. While the filing didn’t name Piatt specifically, he’s known to have spoken to federal investigators as well as George Mitchell.

That player, who was not named in court papers, is identifiable as Adam Piatt. They played together on the Oakland Athletics in 2003, and prosecutors allege that Tejada purchased human growth hormone from him that year. They do not accuse Tejada of using the substance or lying about his use of it, however.


Miguel Tejada’s Links to Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • In his book, Juiced (published in Feb. 2005), Jose Canseco said he educated Tejada about steroids.
  • Tejada appeared before congress along with Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and others in 2005.
  • When Palmeiro tested positive for Stanozolol in 2005, he suggested it may have been caused a tainted vitamin B12 shot he had received from Tejada.
  • In a search warrant for Jason Grimsley’s Arizona home (executed in May 2006), Jeff Novitzky says Grimsley described a conversation he had with Tejada and Palmeiro about amphetamines.
  • Piatt told Mitchell and Federal investigators that he had conversations about steroids with Tejada. Piatt also said he purchased HGH and testosterone for Tejada, providing the government with copies of checks from Tejada. The information was released as part of the Mitchell Report.
UPDATE (Feb. 11, 2009): Tejada appeared in court pleaded guilty to making "misrepresentations to congress. " He admitted having conversations about steroids with a teammate (Piatt) and also purchasing human growth hormone, though he still denies ever using any performance enhancing drugs.

"I just want to apologize," Tejada said as he fought back tears hours later at a Houston news conference, where he did not take questions. "I made a mistake, and now I know how serious of a mistake that I made for not answering a question about another teammate."

The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail. "Federal guidelines" call for a lesser penalty. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 26.

Sources

 
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