Thank you, this was the point of my questions asked to the particular poster earlier on, I just never got a chance to come back and make it (you probably said it more concisely than I would have anyway). I made a similar case a couple years ago in the HoF thread.For what it's worth, I have stated earlier that the notion of trying to thread the needle (no pun intended) and determining who used, when they started using and whether they would have been a HoF player without PEDs is something of a fool's errand. And my hypothetical ballot includes both Bonds and Clemens.
Having said this, the proposition that "you can't prove that the PEDs helped him" (or anyone) is a tautology based on the fact that you will never make a statistical case either way until/unless you are able to nail down variables that are unknowable. (Who used, and precisely when they started.)
Short of them telling you, we will never know when they started using and there is no possible way to quantify the extent to which they helped. Trying to represent either is disingenuous and most likely driven by agenda.
I agree Bonds and Clemens are somewhat outliers, due to the factors you cite. But I also don't think the character clause should be pulled out by writers as they see fit - they just voted for a guy has fully admitted he used to play games with drugs on his person.