It’s too easy to sit back and take pot shots at Jose Conseco. I am as guilty of the next party in assuming his allegations are unfounded and unscrupulous at best and his motives vengeful and base.
As I wrote yesterday, at this juncture it may be prudent if not fair to await comments by the main targets of those allegations before reaching any conclusions. My greater willingness to take a more even-handed approach to Conseco, whom I do not admire in the slightest, is prompted by comments made by Ron Rappaport, the sports commentator, on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Rappaport argued persuasively that the public was more than willing to accept the story by BALCO founder Victor Conte that Barry Bonds used steroids he supplied but has been equally quick to dismiss Conseco’s allegations as those of desperate man seeking to make a buck. Conte, Rappaport points out, may be motivated by a far greater need than that of Conseco, namely, staying out of prison.
Bonds is not well liked by much of the public and most of the media. Conseco’s reputation is even worse. But Victor Conte’s behavior hardly rises above that of either man. In the end the entire steroid matter is far too complicated and its implications too great to rush to any judgments.