Tejada receives probation for perjury

Tejada receives probation for perjury

As expected, Miguel Tejada received probation and community service for lying to Congress about performance-enhancing drugs.

Tejada was sentenced before a federal judge on Thursday, receiving a year of probation and 100 hours of community service, in addition to a $5,000 fine.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay delivered the sentence to a somber Tejada in the U.S. District Court, according to a Hearst newspaper report. Last week, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor last week submitted a 10-page memo urging probation and community service focused on youth education and outreach. But the final sentence, according to the report, was at Kay's discretion.

Tejada briefly addressed the court, saying he took "full responsibility."

"I apologize to the Congress, to the court, to all the fans of baseball and especially the kids," Tejada said quietly.

"People have to know that when Congress asks questions, it's serious business," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham told the court, according to The Associated Press. "And if you don't tell the truth -- and we can prove you haven't told the truth -- then there will be accountability."

The plea deal, according to the AP report, is unlikely to affect Tejada's immigration status, because green-card holders are not normally deportable unless the maximum possible sentence is more than one year in prison.

Astros general manager Ed Wade released a statement after the sentencing was final.

"We're happy that this issue is resolved," Wade said. "Miguel can now focus on baseball and direct all of his energy toward being a key member of the Astros. It was resolved the way Miguel and his representatives believed it would be, and we can now all move forward."

Last month, Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to congressional staffers about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. He was not charged with lying about allegations concerning his own steroids use; rather, prosecutors accused Tejada of giving false statements about his conversations with another player, former Athletics teammate Adam Piatt, about steroids and human growth hormone.

The allegations against Tejada date back to 2005, when Tejada's former teammate, Rafael Palmeiro, attributed a positive steroid test to a vitamin B-12 injection allegedly administered to him by Tejada. Palmeiro gave that testimony while under investigation by the House committee for possibly lying under oath about using performance-enhancing drugs.

No charges we brought against Palmeiro, because the committee couldn't find enough evidence to do so, although Tejada admitted during the investigation that he provided B-12, believed by some to be a steroid masker, to Palmeiro and two other unidentified Orioles players.

In August of that same year, Tejada denied having used performance-enhancing drugs, and he said he was not aware of steroid use by others in baseball.

But the Mitchell Report, released in December 2007, suggested something far different. In the report, former Sen. George Mitchell said that Piatt, a teammate of Tejada's when they played with the Athletics, recalled providing steroids, testosterone and HGH to Tejada in 2003.

Piatt gave Mitchell canceled checks from transactions he had with Tejada for a total of $6,300. A $3,200 check from Tejada to Piatt was dated March 21, 2003.

"If Congress or a representative of Congress asks somebody a question in their official capacity, that question must be answered truthfully. There are no options to prevaricate or withhold the truth or parts of the truth," Durham said Thursday, according to AP.

"Sometimes, the truth is quite unflattering. Sometimes, it's embarrassing to people. But it is not optional."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.