The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


June 20, 2012

Our View: Time for game to end

The propriety of Congress investigating professional sports has been as much a focus of the House Government Reform Committee’s hearings as Roger Clemens’ alleged use of steroids and human growth hormone.

 On Monday, Clemens was acquitted in federal court in Washington, D.C., on six counts that he lied and obstructed Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens spent 41⁄2 years proclaiming his innocence after Brian McNamee, his former personal trainer, told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone about 16 to 21 times during 1998, 2000 and 2001.

On Monday, a jury of eight women and four men agreed with Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

Clemens is one of a long list of some of the game’s biggest names who have either admitted or have been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The list, which includes players such as  Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez, spans the years of the so-called “Steroid Era” in baseball.

We likely will never know exactly how many players took performance-enhancing drugs. What is clear is that baseball and fans of the game are eager to put the issue behind them.

As New York Yankee Derek Jeter said after hearing the news of Clemens’ acquittal, “I think it’s great for the game because we can stop talking about it now.”

The baseball commissioner should take the field when it comes to the ballplayers.

While Congress likely can claim the authority to hold the investigations, in our view it has far better ways to spend its time, and the taxpayers’ money.

Game over.

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