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Tejada is next on list of doping offenders

THE Houston Astros' Miguel Tejada is headed to court to answer charges of lying to Congress, the latest athlete to face criminal prosecutors over the scourge of performance-enhancing drugs in pro sports.

Tejada, 34, is expected to plead guilty when he appears in court later yesterday. The charges against the All-Star shortstop were outlined in documents filed on Tuesday in Washington federal court.

The documents indicate that a plea agreement has been reached with Tejada, who won the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player award while playing for the Oakland Athletics.

The papers were filed a day after superstar Alex Rodriguez acknowledged past use of performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Yankees third baseman does not face charges. The FBI also is investigating whether pitcher Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner, lied to Congress last year when he denied using steroids or human growth hormone.

Clemens and Rodriguez top a list of drug-tainted stars that includes Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, whose actions cast doubt on their on-field accomplishments.


Tejada faces as much as a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor charge of making misrepresentations to Congress. Under federal guidelines, he would probably receive a lighter sentence.

In the court papers, 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 court documents say the investigators advised him "of the importance of providing truthful answers."

During the interview, Tejada denied knowledge of an ex-teammate's use of performance-enhancing drugs, though officials say Tejada bought what he believed to be human growth hormone from the player.

Other Major League Baseball players who might be on the infamous list of 104 caught doping likely are worried whether their names will be made public. "Our program, which was designed to be confidential, if it turns out not to be, that's something that causes concern," union head Donald Fehr said.


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