Despite Jeff Novitzky's Life's Work, Cheating At Sports Is Still Not A Crime

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Jeff Novitzki was an IRS agent. Not an avenging angel sent from above, nor an earthly crusader for all that is good and pure in America, but a bureaucrat. Somewhere along the way he got it into his mind that it was his job and his job alone (and his only job) to eradicate the peril of steroids in sports. He's with the FDA now, but he continues his myopic, monomaniacal quest to bring down the users.

With today's mistrial in the Roger Clemens case, let's take a look at some of Novitzki's targets and what came of the copious amounts of man-hours and taxpayer money that went into securing justice.


Marion Jones pleaded guilty to making false statements. She was sentenced to six months in prison.
Track coach Trevor Graham was convicted for making false statements; a mistrial was declared on two other counts. He was sentenced to a year of house arrest.
Cyclist Tammy Thomas was found guilty for perjury and obstruction. The jury rejected two other perjury counts. She was sentenced to six months house arrest.
Dana Stubblefield pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements. He was sentenced to probation.
Barry Bonds was convicted for obstruction. A mistrial was declared on three other counts.
The case against Roger Clemens was declared a mistrial. The government will have to decide whether to re-pursue charges, if a judge even allows it.
Since 2008, Novitzky has been investigating Lance Armstrong. It remains to be seen if charges will be brought.

In summary, Jeff Novitzky is not very good at punishing people for using steroids, but he's great at punishing people for saying they didn't use them.


In Les Miserables, the similarly obsessed Javert could not reconcile the fact that laws and morals were not one and the same. He removed himself from the case (permanently) and the entire menace disappeared — it had never been an actual menace beyond what the investigator made it.