Sports

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Clemens Steroid Case Raises Surprising Questions

February 17, 2008 05:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Roger Clemens’ testimony before Congress leads some to wonder whether fans are partly to blame. Others suggest lawmakers could find better things to do.

30-Second Summary

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Players desperate to live up to the public’s standards may turn to performance-enhancing drugs, theorizes one Washington Post writer.

Roger Clemens’ almost five-hour appearance before a House committee Wednesday brought crowds of fans from all walks of life. Some agreed that the public’s adoration and demands for perfection can be a burden. But they said that doesn’t justify breaking the law.

Others speculate that the American public doesn’t expect honesty in entertainment, sports included.

Meanwhile, the pitcher’s testimony, and that of his former trainer Brian McNamee, was scrutinized by pundits. At ESPN, analysts polled generally agreed that McNamee has a history of lying, but no motive to hurt Clemens’ reputation, especially when he told the truth about other pitchers, such as Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch.

The Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice asks whether legislators should be working on more important matters: “With a war raging and the price of oil soaring, should Congress really be that concerned about whether a couple of millionaire ballplayers cheated?”

Congress has held sports-related hearings many times in the past few decades. This one was called in response to the report George Mitchell, a former senator, wrote for Major League Baseball.

Wednesday’s hearing was well documented, and is available online as highlights or in abridged form.

Headline Links: ‘Everyone Plays in the Blame Game’

Opinion & Analysis: Skepticism and dismissal

Background: Mitchell report, Congressional summons

Reference: Capitol Hill testimony

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