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Roger Clemens pleads not guilty to charges he lied to Congress

August 30, 2010 | 11:11 am

Roger Baseball great Roger Clemens pleaded not guilty Monday to a six-count indictment alleging he lied to Congress about his use of steroids during his distinguished career.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner entered the plea at his arraignment hearing in Washington, D.C., before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. If convicted on all charges, Clemens faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5-million fine. However, under U.S. sentencing guidelines, he likely would be ordered to serve 15-21 months in prison.

Clemens has been charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress.

The charges stem from Clemens' testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008. Clemens, who was mentioned multiple times in the Mitchell Report, told the committee he had "never taken steroids or HGH."

Clemens' testimony conflicted with that of his former trainer, Brian McNamee, who told the committee that the pitcher did use steroids in HGH, or human growth hormone. Former teammate Andy Pettitte also testified Clemens said he had used steroids.

Clemens turned down a plea deal offered by prosecutors prior to his indictment on Aug. 19.

The 48-year-old defended himself via Twitter after he was charged: "I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court."

Considered one of the best pitchers of all time, Clemens retired in 2007 following a 23-year career in the major leagues. He finished with 354 wins (ninth all-time), 4,672 strikeouts (third) and a 3.12 career earned-run average.

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Roger Clemens arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images