James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, February 09, 2009

A-Rod's the victim

It looks like the revelation of Alex Rodriguez's positive steroid test six years ago may have violated both confidentiality agreements and the Fourth Amendment. I would love it if the investigation of this leak ultimately results in Barry Bonds's exoneration.

I can understand - not condone, but understand - cops going a little overboard on the Fourth Amendment in obsessive pursuit of a serial killer or some such person. But you can't ascribe good intentions to investigators in the BALCO and Bonds cases. Steroid abusers harm nobody but themselves. One may object that they harm the integrity of Major League Baseball. But that's MLB's business, not the government's, and MLB didn't take action against steroids until a few years ago.

An emailer to ESPN this afternoon says that A-Rod isn't sorry for having used illegal substances, he's only sorry he got "caught." But that's the thing: he didn't get caught; it's more accurate to say he was exposed through illegal means. Confident now that he would never test positive for steroids, and also confident now his positive test result from years ago has been destroyed or remains confidential, he could lie and tell Katie Couric that he's never taken steroids. Sure, it's a lie, but it's a lie about something that was nobody else's business.

Imagine Joe Blow is asked on 60 Minutes whether he ever had an affair. He says no. Then his psychiatrist comes forward to say that Joe Blow did have an affair, after which Mr. Blow admits that, yes, indeed he had and is very sorry.

It does no good to accuse him of only being sorry the affair was discovered. It is more likely true that he was sorry that he had it in the first place, which is part of the reason he didn't want it discovered: it wouldn't do any good for anybody, including himself. The real crime in this case is not the adultery, and not lying about it. It is, rather, the contractual breach of confidentiality on the part of the psychiatrist.

Likewise, that A-Rod used steroids should come as, at most, a mild surprise. The real scandal is not his behavior, but the leak that exposed it.

I don't condone steroid use. Because A-Rod was presumed "clean" and seemed destined to break the all-time home run record, maybe karma caught up to him. But if that's the case, karma wil also eventually catch up to the leakers and prosecutors in this unethical and unconstitutional war on steroids.

1 comment:

  1. You state that "Steroid abusers harm nobody but themselves". Do you have any proof to back this statement? I'd love to see the study that says that steroids, when not misused, are harmful.

    A-Rod, should've never admitted to anything, because he did nothing wrong, and as you said, it's nobody elses business.