Late Monday afternoon, a federal jury acquitted baseball great Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress in 2008 when he insisted he never used steroids or human growth hormone (HGH) during his career.
The NY Times reported the following:
The verdict, which was rendered by a panel of eight women and four men who are largely uninterested in baseball. It was a major, especially painful, defeat for the government in its second failed attempt at convicting a player whose legal problems highlighted baseball’s continuing drug woes.
Last spring, Clemens’s initial trial ended in a mistrial on only the second day of testimony when prosecutors bungled by showing the jury inadmissible evidence. Critics said the prosecution of an athlete like Clemens — a seven-time Cy Young Award winner — was a waste of government time and money, but the United States attorney’s office in Washington pressed forward anyway.
In reaction to the mistrial in Clemens first trial, I wrote:
“… I don’t believe Roger Clemens committed perjury. The use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes does not bother me. I think such use should be made known and cleared by team physicians. Mickey Mantle and other athletes of his era played under the influence of alcohol and amphetamines. Former major league pitcher, Dock Ellis allegedly threw a no-hitter under the influence of LSD. However, I believe genetically engineered food should not be eaten but if it is approved for human consumption, it must be clearly labeled as such. And our pro athletes should also be labeled as natural or enhanced.” http://wp.me/p18KKd-5g
In another earlier post,
“One branch of the federal government wants to ban the use of steroids, performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormones by professional athletes but while another branch of government seeks to approve the consumption of animals injected with steroids, growth hormones and altered DNA. Congress seeks a public exposure of professional athletes who have used performance enhancing drugs, while the FDA would permit the consumption of genetically modified (GMO) salmon but prevent the labeling of GMO fish and livestock. I think their respective priorities are mixed up and misplaced.”
Kudos to the federal jury in rendering today’s verdict acquitting Roger Clemens of all charges. I hope a future jury will do the same for the recently indicted cycling great, Tour de France legend and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong.