"Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH."
That was Roger Clemens nearly two and a half years ago, testifying before Congress that he had never in his career used performance-enhancing drugs. It's a statement that's now haunting the star pitcher. He's just been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly lying during that Congressional hearing; if convicted on all charges, he faces a combined maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Beyond possible jail time, the Rocket's future as a Hall of Famer is now in question as well—a mammoth blight on the career of the seven-time Cy Young winner.
Clemens remains steadfast in claiming his innocence when it comes to both steroid use and the perjury charges: "I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress," he tweeted Thursday after news of the indictment broke. "I look forward to challenging the Governments [sic] accusation and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court.
But as other athletes have learned, it may not be the best strategy to be so vocal in denying the charges. At the very least, Clemens has Andy Petite's testimony against him, that Clemens had confided to him that he'd used HGH. So if it turns out that the Rocket has his pants on fire, what's the prognosis for his future? From Marion Jones to Mark McGwire, here's a look at how some of his Pinocchio-sympathizing colleagues have fared, ordered from worst case scenario to best.
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Worst: Marion Jones