The cases are similar in many respects: Both are tied to the work of Jeff Novitzky, the federal Food and Drug Administration investigator who has been a key witness in several high-profile doping cases. Both cases involve allegations of lying – Bonds to a grand jury and Clemens to a congressional committee in 2008, when he denied steroid use despite evidence to the contrary.
And like Bonds, who faced a jury in a city where his former team, the Giants, are lionized, Clemens may be able to tap his star status to sway a jury. Jury selection began Wednesday and continued Thursday in Washington, D.C.
"People are enamored with celebrities and athletes, and historically they tend to give them breaks," former assistant US attorney Brian Hershman told ESPN.com's T.J. Quinn this spring. "Finding 12 people that are willing to knock [Clemens] off his pedestal is going to be very difficult. Clemens is such a nationally known figure, he'll still have the star factor going for him."
But the cases have significant differences, too. And many of them are likely to complicate matters for Clemens's defense team, experts say.
Where Bonds faced a hometown and arguably more liberal San Francisco jury, Clemens is being tried in the nation's capital, where juries historically tend to be more conservative and are more likely to see lying to Congress as a major no-no.
The Bonds case included little physical evidence, but prosecutors in the Clemens trial are likely to offer as Exhibit A video from the 2008 testimony, in which Clemens challenged congressmen and dismissed parts of the Mitchell Report. Written by respected former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, the report provides the most facts and in-depth analysis of major league sports doping to date. "Let me be clear," Clemens testified. "I have never taken steroids or HGH [human growth hormone]."