(WASHINGTON) — After a federal jury cleared him Monday of all counts, Roger Clemens, the legendary pitcher known for his toughness, broke down.
“For all you media guys that have followed my career, I put a lot of hard work into that career” Roger Clemens said as he wept on the courthouse steps surrounded by family.
Clemens, known as “The Rocket” and perhaps the most dominating Major League Baseball pitcher of his era, has been in a five-year fight to clear his name. He had become one of the primary symbols of what was wrong with baseball, accused of taking steroids and lying about it to Congress.
“Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids,” Clemens said in a dramatic hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which called him to testify in February 2008.
The government spent four years investigating Clemens, dispatching 103 agents to 72 locations across the United States and around the world to prove that the former pitcher had committed perjury in denying his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens was charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements, and one count of obstructing Congress. On Monday, a jury acquitted him on all charges after a 10-week trial.
The case was largely built on the word of one man: Clemens’ former trainer, who directly contradicted Clemens during that dramatic hearing before Congress in 2008.
“I injected Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs,” former New York Yankees trainer Brian McNamee told the House committee.
In end, the jury did not believe McNamee, whose credibility was severely damaged by the testimony of his estranged wife.
“She was able to persuade this jury that everything her estranged husband said was nothing but a lie,” Lester Munson of ESPN said.
So the government struck out, and Clemens did something he had done many times before. He won.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN