Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Steroid Prosecutions

Our Nov. 3 and Dec. 8th entries discussed the ongoing investigation into steroid distribution.  The Wall Street Journal today reports in an article titled "Elite Users of Steroids Rarely Face Criminal Prosecution,"  that despite criminal laws in existence, they do not seem to be applied "to elite professional or Olympic athletes."  There are several issues that merit consideration here:

1. Is the government using its prosecutorial discretion improperly and targeting the easier cases, the ones without high powered attorneys?  Taking the front page cases is more likely to get the government press and more likely to have a deterrent effect. It seems that this is the path that the government usually takes.  Could it be possible that sports prosecutions are different?

2. Is it just plain happenstance that prosecutorial discretion has played out so that the government indictments have been against those working out in the local gyms?

3. Or is this just not a top priority of the government because there are more important issues like identity theft, corporate crime, and terrorism?

Or maybe all of the above?



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