Originally written on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 1/31/13
File-photo-shows-former
“The sports world has turned the assumption of innocence on its head,” Rusty Hardin (Roger Clemens’ attorney) said Thursday in a telephone interview with USA TODAY Sports. “I am thoroughly convinced there is no way an innocent ballplayer can get out in front of these allegations. “I truly know nothing about Alex Rodriguez, but do you think anybody is going to believe Alex Rodriguez now? Nobody is going to listen to him or any of these guys accused.” “The presumption is so strong that they did it, and they’re lying. The only way Alex Rodriguez is going to get a fair shake is by going to court and proving it.” “Who the hell wants to wish that on anyone? Even if acquitted, the majority of the sports world still is going to assume he did it.” Roger Clemens vehemently denied Senator George Mitchell’s 2007 report that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He filed a defamation lawsuit against his former trainer, Brian McNamee. He swore under oath that he never took steroids, and after being indicted by a grand jury on charges of making false statements to Congress, he was still found not guilty on all counts of lying to Congress. “That was the only way Roger could get a fair hearing,” Hardin said, “but like Roger told Congress, ‘He still lost his innocence.’ People still don’t believe him.” Has he given us a reason to believe him though? “The problem now is that so many players deny it, and later on admit it, so the accusation carries additional weight,” Harden continued. If the Miami New Times report is accurate and Rodriguez did indeed purchased performance-enhancing drugs in 2009 and 2012 from Biogenesis, a clinic in Coral Gables, Florida, Harden says that Rodriguez should follow the lead of Yankees starter Andy Pettitte. He publicly admit his transgressions. “If you did it,” Hardin says, “the way Andy Pettitte went about it is exactly the way to go. You admit it, accept responsibility, and move on.” “If you didn’t do it, then you’ve got follow your conscience and recognize it’s not going to work. People are too cynical to believe you.” “What we did with Roger didn’t work. He denied it from every rooftop he could. What we discovered with Roger was that his denial just brought more scorn. After awhile, we just shut up. There was nothing more we could offer from the dialogue.” “But I will say that if a person didn’t do it, they shouldn’t cave in and say they did it, just to make it go away.” Hardin realized that even after being victorious in trial, the public perception of Clemens wouldn’t be dramatically altered. That was confirmed this year when the seven-time Cy Young award winner received only 37.6% of the vote in the Hall of Fame ballot. “I don’t think nobody will ever look at the evidence before they cast their next vote,” Hardin says. “The trouble is that Roger was lumped together with (Barry) Bonds and (Sammy) Sosa. The other two guys, everybody knows they did it.” Do they? They’ve denied it as much as Clemens. “There’s no question that Bonds did it.” Which is interesting because many people can say that about Hardin’s client. “Everybody knows that. And Sosa proved positive. And since Roger was accused, he was thrown in the same group,” Hardin continued. Bonds testified that he never knowingly used steroids. Sosa tested positive in an anonymous 2003 test, according to the New York Times, but has denied that he ever used steroids. “I don’t think anything is ever going to change,” Hardin says, “no matter what Roger says.” “You never get your reputation back.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

WATCH: Ben Revere gifted Matt Wieters a home run

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Redskins skip Robert Griffin III in jersey countdown

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker