A ruling by a US Court of Appeals panel will now open up a can of worms that was promised to be sealed. The names of more than 100 or so major league baseball players who apparently tested positive for steroids may eventually be publicly revealed despite a promise that the test results of all of those who participated in the voluntary steroid testing program several years ago would remain anonymous.
It makes you wonder what or who is it that federal prosecutors are really after. Are they really pursuing justice? Do they really want to stamp out steroids in baseball and other sports? Or are they simply conducting a witch hunt that they hope will lead to an indictment of Barry Bonds in particular and other players in general? In prosecutors’ apparent quest for Bonds, dozens of players who expected privacy have now been betrayed. As of this writing the players union, as expected, is appealing this ruling, but the message is clear. Promises mean nothing. If that promise meant anything baseball commissioner Bud Selig would join the union in objecting to this ruling. After all it was MLB, i.e. the commissioner, that had promised secrecy. As things stand now, why should players ever trust the commissioner and the baseball establishment again?
Troubling to me are the many other silent voices besides the commissioners office. Where is the outrage? It appears to me we are fast becoming a people who seemingly tolerate anything and refuse to stand up to injustice if it suits our objectives. It should not matter where you stand on the steroid problem in sports. In America there is a right and a wrong way to do things and this is wrong!
Our legal system mandates that evidence obtained illegally is thrown out, even if it means the accused goes free. It is a founding principle of our justice system. In this case the seizing of the annoymous test results are the equivalent of illegally obtained evidence. And as such the test results should not be used. Prosecutors should try something else within bonafide legal bounds to make their case.
We can only hope that in pursuit of whatever it is they are after, prosecutors and judges refrain from any abuse of power. So called justice sought and obtained illegally is not justice at all.