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Legendary Pitcher Roger Clemens Acquitted on All Perjury Charges

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Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, left, with his attorney Rusty Hardin, arrives at federal court Monday, June 18, 2012. Clemens has been acquitted on all charges by a jury that decided he didn't lie to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(The Blaze/AP) – Roger Clemens has been acquitted on all charges by a jury that decided he didn't lie to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Jurors returned their verdict Monday after close to 10 hours of deliberation. The outcome brings an end to a 10-week trial that capped an expensive, five-year investigation into one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball.

The 49-year-old Clemens was accused of perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress when he testified at a deposition and at a nationally-televised hearing in February 2008. The charges centered on his repeated denials that he used steroids and human growth hormone during his 24-year career.

CNN has more details on the trial:

Federal prosecutor Courtney Saleski, in closing arguments, told jurors Clemens "wanted to protect his brand, he wanted to protect his livelihood," in denying the use of steroids during a 2008 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives into the problem.

The Clemens defense team disputed whether the government had made its case, telling the jury all the evidence came through a former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who had incentive to lie.

"You saw Brian McNamee, the only witness in the history of the world who says he gave or saw an injection of that man," said defense attorney Michael Attanasio. "One person in the entire world." During closing arguments, the defense cited the lack of corroborating witnesses.

It took about eight weeks for the prosecution and defense to question 46 witnesses, and the most direct conflict came among expert witnesses as to how to interpret a collection of discarded medical items that allegedly linked Clemens to steroid use. The pitcher did not take the stand in his defense.

Soiled medical wrappings, cotton balls, drug vials and hypodermic needles that McNamee kept were interpreted differently by each side. Witnesses for the government said genetic material linked with Clemens suggested it was impossible for McNamee to fabricate the evidence.

The verdict is the latest blow to the government's pursuit of athletes accused of drug use.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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