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Opening salvos fired in Clemens trial

Opening salvos fired in Clemens trial
Former NY Yankees Pitcher Roger Clemens arrives at Federal court for jury selection in his perjury trial in Washington, DC, on July 6, 2011. Clemens is accused to lying to Congress under oath about using performance enhancing drugs. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- A federal prosecutor told a jury in Washington Wednesday ex-big league pitcher Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs and lied to Congress about it.

In his opening statement laying out the government's case against Clemens, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham alleged the former all-star took steroids and human growth hormone to prolong his career and committed perjury, made false statements and obstructed Congress when he lied to a House committee in 2008 in a bid to protect his legacy, The Washington Post reported.

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Indicating a possible motive for doing so, Durham said: "Baseball players enjoy the recognition. They enjoy it for the money. They enjoy a kids game played by an adult."

However, Rusty Hardin, Clemens defense attorney, said in his opening statement it is the government's star witness, former Clemens trainer Brian McNamee, not Clemens, who hasn't been telling the truth.

"Brian McNamee is a liar," Hardin said, adding his client never used performance-enhancing drugs and his only shortcoming was to not severing his association with McNamee.

Clemens, 48, was an 11-time all-star and seven-time Cy Young winner. Before he was caught up in baseball's doping scandal along with Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, he was considered a shoo-in for induction into the game's Hall of Fame.

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Forty-five prosecution witnesses are expected to be called to testify during the trial.

The first prosecution witness was Charles W. Johnson, House parliamentarian from 1994 to 2004, who was to explain why Congress had the authority to investigate the use of steroids in baseball.

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