If Roger Clemens Prevails in Steroid Witch-Hunt, He Can Thank Bruce Goldberger

  • Tweet

If federal prosecutors fail to convict baseball legend Roger Clemens in their steroid witch-hunt, euphemistically known as the Clemens perjury and obstruction of justice trial, Clemens can thank prominent forensic toxicologist Bruce Goldberger. Goldberger testified on behalf of the defense this week.

Golderberger is the Professor of Pathology and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He was once invited to apply as a replacement for Don Catlin as the director of the WADA UCLA laboratory. Instead, Goldberger decided to testify on behalf of other professional athletes who have been accused of using steroids and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). He has appeared frequently on various news programs and has been highly critical of anti-doping organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Goldberger blasted prosecutors for their heavy reliance on “beer can evidence” to prove that Clemens used anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (hGH). Brian McNamee, the government’s star witness, provided prosecutors with a Miller Lite beer can containing used needles/syringes and medical waste with traces of Sustanon, Deca Durabolin and Primobolan Depot along DNA evidence belonging to Clemens. The evidence was saved by Clemens accuser for over six years.

“If you submit garbage to the laboratory, more than likely you’re going to get garbage on the end,” Goldeberger told jurors.

“The government’s theory cannot be proven,” said Golderberger. “You cannot exclude the theory of possible contamination.”

Goldberger doesn’t hold the quality of evidence used by the government in high regard. He has previously expressed similar sentiments about the quality of evidence used by anti-doping agencies.

Several years ago, Goldberger testified for American cyclist Floyd Landis during his appeal of a positive steroid test. A WADA-accredited laboratory in France found synthetic testosterone using the testosterone:epitestosterone (T:E) ratio and carbon isotope ratio (CIR) tests. Goldberger described the evidence in the Landis case in similar terms. He referred to it as “inexcusable” and “garbage” in an interview with the Gainesville Sun.

Goldberger told Trust But Verify that WADA was “woefully inadequate to ensure a fair and equitable system which protects the rights of the athlete while ensuring the success of an anti-doping program.”

Of course, Landis lost his appeal and eventually admitted to using anabolic steroids, erythropoeitin (EPO) and a variety of other PEDs.

It remains to be seen if Goldberger’s testimony will sway the jury in the Clemens trial. Will we see Clemens exonerated? Or will we see a conviction followed by an admission of guilt a la Landis?


Associated Press. (June 5, 2012). Expert rips Clemens prosecutors. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8012786/announcer-joe-angel-says-roger-clemens-seen-golf-course-day-jose-canseco-party

Brower, D. (December 29, 2008). The Winnowing: Bruce Goldberger. Retrieved from http://trustbut.blogspot.com/2008/12/winnowing-bruce-goldberger.html