Nonprofit Newswire | Clemens’s Foundation Under Scrutiny

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June 13, 2010; Source: New York Times | The story of Roger Clemens’ sad demise due to charges of steroid use has now found its way into philanthropy. The pitcher’s former trainer says that his provision of performance-enhancing drugs was paid for by the Roger Clemens Foundation at various times between 1998 and 2001.

According to the New York Times, there is nothing in the foundation’s tax filings referencing payments to Brian MacNamee, much less his alleged injections of Clemens with steroids. On the issue of steroids use, the public seems not to believe Clemens, who has denied using, much less paying for the drugs, though MacNamee hardly comes off as a stellar character (and he couldn’t produce evidence that the checks he alleges receiving came from the foundation).

Without weighing in on the veracity of either MacNamee or Clemens, we do note that the governing board of the Clemens foundation was Roger and his wife, the unpaid executive director his mother-in-law, and the finances kept by Hendricks Management, his talent agent. It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that too many athletes’ charities are governed and staffed by close family members likely not to provide the highest and best services in foundation accountability and oversight. Let’s hope that Roger Clemens didn’t throw a spitter at philanthropy with his charity.—Rick Cohen