« Back to "Roger Clemens"
eLibrary® Essential Topics

Truth and Consequences ; Yes, Roger Clemens is a jerk. But Congress shouldn't make a federal case over whether he lied about using steroids.

The holy warriors of the anti-doping crusade have achieved the near-impossible: They have made me feel sorry for Roger Clemens. When George Mitchell's report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, requested by commissioner Bud Selig, made Clemens its poster boy, the reputation of one of the best pitchers the game has witnessed was instantly destroyed. The allegations were based almost entirely on the testimony of Clemens's former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who was threatened with prosecution if he lied to Mitchell's investigators. That's what the crusaders were waiting for, a big name, someone less odious than, say, Barry Bonds. We may learn the truth from the upcoming FBI investigation into whether Clemens committed perjury, or the conflict between Clemens and his accusers may remain unresolved, but either way, the damage is done. "Mitchell has thrown a skunk in the jury box," Rusty Hardin, Clemens's Houston-based attorney, told me. "Whatever happens now, we'll never be able to remove the smell."

A shadow of suspicion has trailed Clemens since October 2006, when the Los Angeles Times reported that an affidavit for a search warrant, sworn to by a federal investigator, fingered McNamee, Clemens, and several other players in a performance-enhancer drug case. Clemens steadfastly denied using performance enhancers (and, indeed, fourteen...

Previewing 8% of this document