Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Baseball star lied about drug use

Miguel Tejada, 11 Feb 2009
Mr Tejada told a hearing in 2005 he knew of no-one using banned drugs

US baseball star Miguel Tejada has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the use of performance enhancing drugs by other professional players.

Mr Tejada was charged with making the misrepresentations in 2005, when he told a congressional hearing he knew of no-one in baseball who used steroids.

Evidence has emerged that while playing for the Oakland Athletics in 2003 he discussed drugs use with a teammate.

Mr Tejada, now with the Houston Astros, faces up to a year in jail and a fine.

The charges against the 34-year-old were filed in a federal court on Tuesday. He was not accused of lying about using drugs himself.

His court appearance came two days after baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez admitted on TV to having used a banned substance from 2001 to 2003, before Major League Baseball introduced its tough anti-drugs regime.

Mr Tejada is due to be sentenced in March, just before the new season starts.

As well as a maximum term of one year in jail, he could be fined up to $1,000 (700). However, under sentencing guidelines he could receive a lighter sentence or probation.

He was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2002, while playing with the Oakland Athletics.

The latest revelations regarding use of performance enhancing drugs are likely further to depress those in the US who regard baseball as the quintessential American pastime and expect more of its stars.

US President Barack Obama expressed his disappointment earlier this week, saying: "I think it's depressing news on top of what's been a flurry of depressing items when it comes to Major League Baseball.

"If you're a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree. It's unfortunate, because I think there are a lot of ballplayers who played it straight."

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