December 13, 2007

Clemens' Denial Noticeably Lacks Denial

[Update: Perhaps Rusty Hardin now knows the difference between denying allegations and denying conduct. In another statement on Thursday, Hardin stated, "Roger Clemens adamantly, vehemently, and whatever other adjectives can be used, denies that he has ever used steroids or ... improper substances." THAT'S a conduct denial, and a strong one.]

Roger Clemens is being represented by Houston-area attorney Rusty Hardin, who issued this statement according to the Houston Chronicle:

Roger Clemens vehemently denies allegations in the Mitchell report that he used performance-enhancing steroids, and is outraged that his name is included in the report based on the uncorroborated allegations of a troubled man threatened with federal criminal prosecution. Roger has been repeatedly tested for these substances and he has never tested positive. There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today.

The statement goes on further, questioning the credibility of Brian McNamee, Clemens' former trainer, but let's focus on the denial.

1) Roger Clemens vehemently denies allegations...that he used. Which allegations? All allegations? A couple allegations? Is there a little detail that the report didn't quite get perfectly accurate? One would think a big-shot attorney knows the differences between denying vaguely-defined allegations and denying conduct.

2) Roger has been repeatedly tested. Yeah, but the report alleged use in 1998 and 2000. Certainly Roger could have moved on to HGH before steroid testing began.

3) [No] shread of tangible evidence. So? That's true, at least from what we know now. These guys were allegedly engaged in an illegal conspiracy. They probably were careful to limit tangible evidence. Plus, maybe Roger wasn't dumb enough to use personal checks when obtaining his raw materials.

So the "denial" states three things that are undeniably true. Yet, it lacks these words:

"Roger Clemens never used any performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids or human growth hormone."

There is no direct denial that Clemens used steroids. In our public experience, this is a non-denial denial. If tangible evidence comes to light, or if Roger fails a test, the denial does not contain a single untruth. It's a typical weasel denial, and I give it no weight.

6 Responses:

"ben" said...

You are correct on all points. Personally, I find number two to be the one that is most insulting to my intelligence.

This is why I still give Palmeiro credit. He may be a liar, but at least he manned up and went all out.

J-Red said...

Palmeiro is the reason I was sure that Tejada was a juicer. As time has gone on since August 2006, I think Palmeiro wasn't telling the truth, but rather was trying to take a bigger name down with him.

"ben" said...

By Palmeiro's lying, I meant when he was in front of congress and wagging his finger and all that. I mean he had a man's denial, no wiggle room, as Les Miles would say.

I suppose it's possible that up to that point he hadn't taken steroids and didn't start until after.

J-Red said...

I agree with you. Palmeiro had a "they'll never catch me" denial. That's at least a manly stance. This Clemens denial is a non-denial denial, which almost presupposes that better evidence will come out soon.

Dewey ( said...

Too bad Schilling's name wasn't on the list. That would have been fun.

J-Red said...

A later Hardin denial actually explicitly denied that Clemens has used steroids or other banned substances. That's what the first denial should have been.

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