WASHINGTON (AP) — With an apology to Congress, baseball and the kids who looked up to him, All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada received a sentence of one year probation Thursday for misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Tejada faced possible prison time, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay issued a sentence of one year of unsupervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. Kay waived drug testing often required of other convicts on probation and said he wouldn’t restrict the Houston Astros player’s travel.
Tejada briefly addressed the court, speaking softly in accented English, and said he was sorry to Congress, the court, his sport and kids. “I learned a very important lesson,” he said.
Tejada pleaded guilty last month to withholding information about an ex-teammate’s use of steroids and human growth hormone when questioned by a House committee’s investigators in August 2005.
He also acknowledged he bought HGH while playing for the Oakland A’s, but said he threw the drugs away without using them. Prosecutors said they have no evidence to contradict that.
Neither he nor his lawyers stopped to take questions as they left the courtroom. Asked by a reporter if he was relieved, Tejada replied, “Yes.”
The five-time All-Star and 2002 AL MVP is the first high-profile player convicted of a crime stemming from baseball’s steroids era. He was sentenced at the same federal courthouse where a grand jury has been meeting to determine whether Roger Clemens should be indicted on charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids and human growth hormone.
Tejada faced up to a year imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000, but Kay followed the recommendation of prosecutors who said he deserved the lighter sentence.
Tejada avoids jail time. Maybe he should be thrown in jail for lying about his age. Steroids have really taken the fun out of baseball. Miggy hasn’t been quite the same since the juice ran out. -TO
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