Continued from page 1

“A verdict like this doesn’t necessarily vindicate those who favor these prosecutions,” said Robert Mintz, a high-profile defense attorney in New Jersey. “To me, it raises questions about the Roger Clemens case and any others that might be brought in the future, as to whether or not the time and expense government puts into these cases is really warranted.”

BALCO founder Victor Conte, who spent four months in jail for money laundering and a steroid distribution charge, said the Bonds case is really proof of the government’s determination to make examples out of so-called celebrity defendants.

“What needs to come out of this is people need to look a lot more closely at who’s holding Novitzky and Company accountable,” Conte said.

Kingston is one of the few in the federal government who has done so publicly, thus far.

As a member of the House subcommittee that oversees the FDA, he’s concerned about that agency’s role in going after drug cheats.

“It’s sort of like if you have police down at the homeless shelter dishing out food _ that’s great, but who’s watching the bad guys?” Kingston said.

There are many in the anti-doping camp, however, who believe government plays a key role in cleaning up sports and helping set an example for millions of adults and children. In cases involving Marion Jones and others, anti-doping authorities have cooperated with government investigations to obtain some of their best evidence that led to suspensions and stripped medals.

“I have a huge amount of sympathy and support for people who say, ‘I want our law-enforcement agencies enforcing the law, and we don’t need to impose additional work on them,’” said Andy Parkinson, head of United Kingdom Anti-Doping. “But we absolutely recognize in the UK that sport can’t fight doping on its own, just the same way it can’t fight corruption, fraud, any of those things by itself.”