It took almost a year for this to happen. But if history has shown us anything on this subject it is that the wheels of justice grind slowly and more often than not, successfully.
The subject at hand is the investigation by federal prosecutors of high profile athletes for perjury or obstruction of justice.
Roger Clemens had absorbed a body blow when the Mitchell Report was made public in December 2007. He was named as an athlete that had used banned substances during his career.
He decided to clear his name and his biggest strategic blunder was demanding a hearing in front of the Congressional sub-committee that had poked its nose into the affairs of Major League Baseball. In February 2008 he got his wish.
He had already spoken in public at a news conference. But the stakes were raised when he had to swear an oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
He was faced by more than just the words from the Mitchell Report. His accuser and former trainer, Brian McNamee was only a few feet away at the witness table.
McNamee had already spoken to the prosecutors prior to the hearing as had Clemens' friend and former teammate, Andy Pettite. Testimony had also been taken from others who were asked to clarify facts from the Mitchell Report. All those statements were thrown back at Clemens who was asked to admit or deny them.
Most damning was the testimony of McNamee who said unequivocally that he had injected Clemens with HGH. Pettite admitted McNamee had injected him as well which gave rise to serious doubts about Clemens' own testimony.
With that haze floating above him, Clemens went on to be exposed as a liar in other arenas of his life, like his marriage. A country singer, named Mindy McCready came forward to speak about a love affair that lasted many years. Other damning allegations were thrown out in public but McNamee's accusations caused the most furor and his believability formed the basis of the investigation that has culminated in the grand jury being convened.
He gave what he alleged to be evidence of the injections to the prosecutors and Congressional sub-committee. It consisted of syringes, gauze and empty vials that purported to have been used by Clemens. DNA tests later showed that Clemens could be tied to the ugly, used stuff.
In front of this grand jury, prosecutors will present evidence and testimony. Clemens might be called to testify or he might ask to appear. He has no right to but might be given a chance to explain his side of the story prior to an indictment being handed down.
Of course, the possibility exists that he won't be indicted. But today's announcement contained interesting information that makes me believe the wagons are circling.
Jeff Novitsky, the investigator who gathered most of the evidence in the BALCO cases has now been asked to provide assistance in the Clemens matter. All Roger has to do is call Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Trevor Graham, Tammy Thomas and others who Novitsky nailed after they gave statements under oath or to prosecutors about their knowledge of the steroids distributed by BALCO.