So here’s where things really get interesting.
Roger Clemens has enlisted the aid of Houston attorney Rusty Hardin to combat the allegations put forth in the Mitchell Report, the Houston Chronicle reported this evening. Hardin got right down to work and issued a very strongly worded statement:
“Roger Clemens vehemently denies allegations in the Mitchell report that he used performance-enhancing steroids, and is outraged that his name is included in the report based on the uncorroborated allegations of a troubled man threatened with federal criminal prosecution. Roger has been repeatedly tested for these substances and he has never tested positive. There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today…
“The use of steroids in sports is a serious problem, it is wrong and it should be stopped.
“However, I am extremely upset that Roger’s name was in this report based on the allegations of a troubled and unreliable witness who only came up with names after being threatened with possible prison time.”
If that doesn’t sum up the problems with the Mitchell Report — witnesses coerced by the threat of jail time to come forward — I don’t know what does.
Meanwhile, this game is just getting started. Who knows what Roger Clemens did or did not do? I sure don’t, and I don’t think anyone, other than Roger, really does. The real test though will be the threat of a law suit. If one of the players named in the Mitchell Report files suit, this whole charade will blow up in everyone’s faces. Yikes.
Update: For all of you legal eagles out there, ESPN’s Lester Munson has up a Q-and-A on the legal issues. If you want to know why players probably won’t sue or face many suspensions, that’s the article for you.