There have been major develop- ments in the cases of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens that could spell serious problems for both former major league players in the ongoing controversy over steroid use.
A federal judge reportedly plans to unseal hundreds of pages of court documents, including a urine sample from Bonds in 2003 that tested positive for performance-enhancing substances. The sample had been retested by the UCLA Olympic laboratory, which found traces of THG, a substance that was previously undetectable under the major league’s testing system.
Bond, the seven-time NL MVP, is accused of lying before a grand jury on his use of such drugs and is expected to plead not guilty to a third indictment from the grand jury on perjury and obstruction of justice.
This will set up a major pre-trial fight over motions to exclude evidence by the defense.
Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens is in equal jeopardy after the Washington Post reported that tests have tied his earlier DNA sample to the blood in syringes handed over to investigators by his former personal trainer Brian McNamee. McNamee testified that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and HGH from 1998-2001.
The disclosure shows the strength of the case for an indictment of Clemens for false testimony before Congress. The case is now before a federal grand jury in Washington to decide whether to indict Clemens.
Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, insists that the DNA testing “won’t matter at all.” Hardin indicated that he will claim that the evidence was a concoction by McNamee, stating “It will still be evidence fabricated by McNamee. I would be dumbfounded if any responsible person ever found this to be reliable or credible evidence in any way.” Hmmm, I am not so sure that a jury would so easily dismiss such evidence.
It now looks that we are likely to see both a Bonds and Clemens trial in 2009-2010. The cases are examples of how celebrities and politicians are more indicted over their reaction to scandals rather than the original allegations themselves.
For Clemens, the case is an example of the perils of testifying in Congress without immunity. Had he not testified, it is unlikely that he would have faced criminal charges over the scandal. Likewise, Bonds has been indicted for his effort to talk his way out of this mess rather than rely on the fifth amendment privilege. For celebrities, it is a difficult choice. To plead the fifth would have shredded their reputations, but they may now have lost their liberty in an effort to protect their names.
For the Clemens story, click here.
For the Bonds story, click here.