The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players' League (1890), an attempt to return to the National Association structure of a league controlled by the players themselves. Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.
Former . prosecutor John M. Dowd also brought up allegations of Mitchell's conflict of interest. Dowd, who had defended Senator John McCain of Arizona during the Keating Five investigation in the late 1980s, cited how he took exception to Mitchell's scolding of McCain and others for having a conflict of interest with their actions in the case and how the baseball investigation would be a "burden" for him when Mitchell was named to lead it.  However, after the investigation, Dowd later told the Baltimore Sun that he was convinced the former Senator had done a good job. 
For players like Clemens, PEDs helped restore them to their youthful prime, but Bonds was different : almost overnight, from age 36-39, he became a vastly better hitter than he had been at his age 27-28 natural peak, and along the way shattered a battery of records held by revered figures like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. It was difficult for a lot of people who had formed a full opinion of Bonds between 1986 and 2000 even to process how good he suddenly was, and how transformed – and the debate over the legitimacy of his rewriting of the record books (along with McGwire and Sosa and A-Rod) ended up swamping the rest of the PED conversation because it was easier than getting one’s head around Bonds’ extraordinarily unusual career arc. Suspicion fell on Bonds long before the evidence caught up with it. Even the justice system got involved, eventually bringing federal prosecutions against Bonds and Clemens.