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Roger Clemens Indicted: Is the Steroid Era Finally Over?

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Roger Clemens Indicted: Is the Steroid Era Finally Over?
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Roger Clemens was indicted today on federal charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

The announcement comes as no surprise, as Clemens has already suffered through public scrutiny about his alleged steroid use. Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, testified in 2008 that he had personally injected Clemens with human growth hormone (HGH).

Clemens flatly denied the accusation and the FBI began investigating him for perjury. Turns out McNamee was right. 

Now with Clemens' legacy officially tarnished, and Barry Bonds gone from the sport, can baseball move on past the steroid scandal?

Unfortunately, no.

Even with its two biggest culprits exposed, Major League Baseball still faces an uphill battle.

For starters, there is still no technical way of knowing whether the league's drug-testing program is actually working. Positive tests have been on the decline for years, but that could just mean that athletes have gotten smarter about not getting caught.

There is also controversy surrounding several active players that has been swept under the rug and forgotten.

For instance, Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy by showing an elevated level of testosterone. Ramirez never publicly addressed the allegation. Neither did his former teammate David Ortiz, after reports surfaced that he had tested positive in 2003.

Most recently, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended in April for testing positive for a fertility drug commonly used by athletes between steroid cycles.

There's still so much we don't know about all the allegations over the years. Nobody from the 90's through the early 2000's is safe from suspicion. And no matter how sophisticated testing has become, athletes will continue to try to circumvent the rules to get a competitive edge.

So what does baseball have to do?

There have been a myriad of proposed solutions, from increasing the frequency of testing to making the punishments more severe. However, these are nothing but temporary solutions.

In time, players will find a way around them.

To fix the problem, baseball officials have to go the root of it—to where the do-or-die competitive spirit is first born. Yes, they have to go the schools, to the Little League programs, where a kid picks up a bat for the first time, and to the coaches who teach aspiring ball players about the game of baseball.

Educating athletes about the dangers of steroid use while they are young is the only surefire way to combat the mentality that they need to win at all costs. 

Knowledge always breeds good decision-making.

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