Former Cincinnati Reds star Barry Larkin holds his plaque after his induction… (Tim Roske / Associated Press )
Hall of Famer Barry Larkin knows some people he doesn't want joining him in Cooperstown. Drug cheats.
“I think if you cheated, no, you don't deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis,” Larkin told the Associated Press. “I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don't think you belong.”
This year's Hall of Fame ballot, results of which will be announced next month, feature three symbols of the steroid era: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.
“I look at what has happened with Pete Rose. Pete Rose is not a Hall of Fame player, banned from baseball. But if you go up to the Hall of Fame all of his records, his bats, everything in is represented in the Hall of Fame — 4,256 (hits),” Larkin said. “I see a very similar thing happening with guys that are associated with or been accused of using steroids. I think they will recognize their accomplishments but I don't think those players will be admitted to the Hall of Fame.”
But, Larkin says drug cheats need to be clearly identified.
“There can't be this hearsay. If you can prove it, then that's what it is. If you can't prove it you're innocent until proven guilty.”
Larkin played 19 seasons for the Cincinnati Reds and was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
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