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Joshua Green

A useful idiot

Roger Clemens’s downfall has motivated kids to stop using steroids

On Monday, Roger Clemens’s second trial for perjury and obstruction of justice got underway in Washington, D.C. This time, Washington barely noticed. A lot has changed since 2005, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held its explosive hearings on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball — hearings that upended the sport, ensnared the seven-time Cy Young winner, and led to his indictment.

But those hearings still cast a pall over the first days of the trial. The Associated Press reported that the court is having trouble assembling a jury because several prospective members don’t believe that Congress had any business investigating drug use in professional sports. That’s a common attitude, and a dismaying one. It stems from a misconception that Major League Baseball actively promoted at the time — that the hearings had no higher purpose than to glorify arrogant, media-hungry lawmakers.

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