Former Oriole Miguel Tejada Sentence to One Year of Probation for Lying to Congress

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 27, 2009

Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada yesterday was sentenced to one year of probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for lying to Congress about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

Tejada, 34, pleaded guilty last month to making a misrepresentation to Congress, admitting that he lied to congressional staffers during an interview in a Baltimore hotel room in 2005 that focused on the prevalence of steroids in the game.

Tejada apologized for his actions during a brief hearing yesterday in the District's federal courthouse.

"I take full responsibility," he said. "I apologize to the Congress and to the court and especially to the kids."

In sentencing Tejada, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay said the crime was serious but that Tejada had accepted responsibility for his actions. The judge urged Tejada to use his position as an athlete to encourage young people "to become better citizens."

Tejada, who plays for the Houston Astros, faced a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

In court papers, federal prosecutors have said that lying to Congress is a serious offense. But they recommended that Tejada be sentenced to probation because he admitted lying, has no criminal record and has a steady job.

In court papers, prosecutors Steven J. Durham and Daniel P. Butler had written that Tejada "has expressed appropriate remorse and contrition for this offense."

After the hearing, Durham said he was pleased by the sentence.

Tejada's attorneys also pushed for probation. They declined to comment. The sentence will not affect Tejada's travel with the Astros.

A citizen of the Dominican Republic with permanent-resident alien status in the United States, Tejada could face deportation. But his attorneys have said they believe he will be allowed to remain in the country.

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