Our view: Rivalries promote steroid use
June 25, 2012 12:44PM
Former Major League baseball star pitcher Roger Clemens leaves federal court in Washington after the judge declared a mistrial in his perjury trial July 14, 2011. | AP Photo file
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Updated: July 27, 2012 6:10AM
The Olympic motto, unofficially since 1894, officially since 1924, is “Citius, Altius, Fortuis” — faster, higher, stronger. Note that it is not just a simple “fast, high, strong.”
The comparative form suggests continuous improvement.
Since mankind first engaged in contests of skill and speed, the search for comparative advantage has been intense and relentless.
Roger Clemens, a pitcher who threw faster and harder than most, was acquitted in federal court last week on all charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs. He has been cleared, but, in the opinion of many journalists, not vindicated.
This fall, Clemens will be eligible for the first time for the Hall of Fame. Being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer may be baseball’s highest honor, and Clemens clearly has the numbers — a 354-184 record, a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts.
Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, admitted users of performance-enhancing drugs, have not made the Hall of Fame — at least not yet. This year, Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa are first-time eligibles.
Baseball writers cast the ballots for the Hall of Fame. Many writers see the vote on admission as a sort of referendum on the “steroid era,” and would be happy to see it pronounced over. But it’s not over, and never will be.
The sports chemistry will get ever better, the detection mechanisms always will lag and, for a Triple-A athlete for whom all that stands between him and the big leagues is a needle, the temptation and rewards will be beyond enticing.
Scripps Howard News Service