I think that most people in the United States have no concept about what the Mitchell Report truly means. Most people assume that this report is the result of a congressional investigation. It is being portrayed in the media as a legal document, a statement of guilt on the people in which it, in my opinion, recklessly names. To me the people named in the report are no more guilty than the names that can be found in Heidi Fleiss’s black book.
In March of 2006 former Senator George Mitchell was commissioned by Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball to write a report. In essence an independent investigation. George Mitchell could be the smartest most honorable man in the world and he certainly comes with many credentials but he in no way shape or form conducted this investigation on the behalf of any court, judge or government agency.
By naming names, this report has made allegations against eighty eight people. Eighty eight people are now convicted in the court of public opinion because the media has made little mention of the fact that this report has no legal basis legal steroids provider.
We are taught that in America that we are innocent until proven guilty. That is one of the basic human rights that our legal system is based upon. In this case you have eighty eight people who must attempt to prove their innocence while overcoming the stain placed on them by George Mitchell and his report.
It is true that many have come out and admitted the validity of the evidence against them. To those I feel that a certain measure of respect should be given for their honesty and forthrightness. But the fact that George Mitchell was right concerning some of the people that he mentioned in the report, does not mean that he got it right for everyone.
George Mitchell stated on Tuesday, January 15th, that “Mr. McNamee had an overwhelming incentive to tell the truth.” Brian McNamee is the trainer who has fingered Roger Clemens as one of the players he helped to abuse steroids. Roger Clemens of course has aggressively denied the allegations of Brian McNamee. Mitchell’s statement that McNamee had an incentive to tell the truth carries with it no indication that McNamee did in fact tell the truth.
Later in the examination Mitchell made the following statement, “We believe that the statements provided to us were truthful.” As much as it may warm my heart that former senator Mitchell actually believes that the statements given were truthful once again is no indication that they were truthful.
Bud Selig and his investigator George Mitchell were extremely successful in one measure. They very effectively took the heat off of Bud Selig and the MLB administration for failing miserably in the past to implement or take action to effectively stop the abuse of steroids. Major League Baseball did not have any formal plan for dealing with the abuse of HGH and steroids until 2005. Surely Bud Selig and the organization of Major League Baseball must assume some responsibility and to his credit it sounds like he may be willing to do this.
No one including myself wants the integrity of baseball to be adversely affected by players who abuse steroids. The most intensive efforts must be made from this point forward to insure that steroid abuse will not be tolerated by the league. The means which the league is currently using to test for steroid use must continuously be evaluated for its effectiveness.
I believe it would be wise to look to the future. Everyone knew that steroid abuse had existed in the past and there was not much reason to confirm this fact. Very little is likely to happen to the vast majority of the people named in this report because it carries with it no legal authority.