Did Mitchell Steroid Report Tarnish Other Players' Images to Protect Barry Bonds?

By putting together a long list of players who had used steroids, the Mitchell Report made it difficult for MLB to do anything to Barry Bonds. The vast majority of the 80 names listed were essentially unknowns, but there were enough names a few well known ones to make punishing people seem impossible. Many of those attacked where attacked based on virtually no evidence. Simply having one person mention their name was enough to get them included in the list. Well, some are fighting back.

NEW YORK — Roger Clemens posted a video Sunday repeating his denials of the steroids use alleged against him in the Mitchell Report and plans to be interviewed for a future episode of "60 Minutes."

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was accused in the report of using steroids, an allegation made by his former trainer.

In October last year, the Los Angeles Times reported Clemens was linked to steroids in the May 2006 sworn statement of a federal agent who cited former big league pitcher Jason Grimsley. At the time, the names of players in the public version had been blacked out. When the full affidavit was unsealed Thursday, Clemens' name was not in it, and the paper issued a correction and an apology.

"I faced this last year when the L.A. Times reported that I used steroids. I said it was not true then, and now the whole world knows it's not true, now that that's come out," Clemens said in the video, which was posted Sunday on the Web site of his foundation and on You Tube.

His youtube response can be seen here.

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Steroids for the brain?

If we are going to ban steroids from sports, when are we going to begin banning treatments that improve people's performance in school? Of course, you might also have to ban caffeine and other drugs. But why is it worse for people to do well in sports by taking steroids than someone to do better on the SATs and thus beating out someone else for a place at a top school?

A rise in healthy people popping pills to boost performance in exams or work, raises long-term ethical and safety concerns about the effects of such treatments, British doctors said on Thursday.

The British Medical Association (BMA) wants a public debate about the risks and benefits of using drugs to improve memory and concentration, sometimes called "cognitive enhancement". . . . .



Even amphetamines banned from baseball. Is coffee next?

The military gives amphetamines to pilots, people in a huge number of jobs rely on them, but no longer are they allowed in baseball. Why is this so bad? Selig's statement that he doesn't hope that it has any effect on the quality of the game seems like wishful thinking.

Last week, the baseball season passed the three-quarters pole in its grueling schedule of 162 games spread out over 183 days. With the late-summer heat and the accumulated fatigue taking their toll on players' bodies, it is the time of year when in past seasons the use of amphetamines, long considered an integral part of the major league experience, would typically be at its peak.

However, this being the first year of baseball's ban on amphetamines -- also known as "greenies," "beans" and several other nicknames -- players no longer have that option, a reality that some observers believe has had a subtle effect on the game.

"I definitely know there are some guys who get to a Sunday day game, after a Saturday night game, and say, 'Man, I wish I had a greenie.' I've heard guys say that," Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. "So there's probably been some small effect. But I don't think it's been as noticeable as people thought it would be."

Baseball's steroid-testing program is now in its fourth season and its third incarnation, having been strengthened twice under pressure from the federal government. However, until last November baseball had resisted banning amphetamines, synthetic stimulants that, some within the game argued, were not true performance-enhancers -- an assertion that is contradicted by leading authorities on the use of drugs in sports.. . . .

Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig was asked during the all-star break last month about the belief that the quality of play would decline this summer because of the amphetamine ban. "I know there are some people who feel that way," he said. "I hope the quality of play does not change. You can do a lot of other things -- [such as] get a good night's rest." . . . .

A history of amphetamines is provided here. The interesting note is the use of amphetamines in mountain climbing (may be auto racing also) where I would think that there is a strong argument that amphetamines are possible life saving drugs. For that matter, this could be true for more than a few of the sports that they list.

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