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Sunday Times on Clemens

by Matt Smith

The Sunday Times has published a feature today in their sports supplement about US Sports, including a piece by David Walsh about Roger Clemens.  He refers to the upcoming ’60 minutes’ interview that will be broadcast on CBS tonight, in which Clemens will apparently claim to have injected nothing more than vitamins and painkillers into his body.

Everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the general public’s faith in the honesty of their sports heroes has been severely tested in recent years.  Walsh makes the point that the top athletes appear to find it hard to tell the truth, citing Marion Jones as the classic example.  Money and fame can make a person feel invincible, but unfortunately for them that is not the case.  The lies will catch up with them eventually and it’s hard to feel any sympathy when it happens. 

Is it fair that we tend to tar sports stars with the same brush?  Probably not, but such prejudices and preconceptions are human nature.  When Clemens was named in this report, everyone called on him to respond to these allegations.  It is unlikely that his comments will change anyone’s opinion, particularly as the ’60 minutes’ interview is being conducted by a friend of Clemens’s. 

The U.S. Congress will not be quite so friendly on 16 January.  That promises to be an intriguing spectacle in much the same way that some people feel compelled to look at a car wreck as they drive by.  If the Mitchell report was MLB’s attempt to make a break from the past, it has failed quite spectacularly.

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