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The Mitchell Report: Baseball's Darkest Day

NEW YORK (AP) - Roger Clemens turned out be Exhibit A in the
long-awaited Mitchell Report, an All-Star roster linked to steroids
and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark - if
not an asterisk - next to some of baseball's biggest moments.
Barry Bonds, already under indictment on charges of lying to a
federal grand jury about steroids, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte
also showed up Thursday in the game's most infamous lineup since
the Black Sox scandal.
The report culminated a 20-month investigation by former Senate
Majority Leader George Mitchell, hired by commissioner Bud Selig to
examine the Steroids Era.
Seven MVPs showed up and in all, 80-some players were fingered,
enough to put an All-Star at every position.
No one was hit harder than Clemens. The seven-time Cy Young
Award winner was singled out in nearly nine pages, 82 references by
name. Much of the information on Clemens came from former New York
Yankees major league strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.
"The illegal use of performance-enhancing substances poses a
serious threat to the integrity of the game," the report said.
"Widespread use by players of such substances unfairly
disadvantages the honest athletes who refuse to use them and raises
questions about the validity of baseball records."
While the records will surely stand, several stars could pay the
price in Cooperstown, much the way Mark McGwire was kept out of the
Hall of Fame this year merely because of steroids suspicion.
"If there are problems, I wanted them revealed," Selig said.
"His report is a call to action, and I will act."
Mitchell said the problems didn't develop overnight and there
was plenty of blame to go around.
"Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades -
commissioners, club officials, the players' association and players
- shares to some extent the responsibility for the Steroids Era,"
Mitchell said. "There was a collective failure to recognize the
problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on."
Mitchell recommended that the drug-testing program be made
independent, that a list of the substances players test positive
for be listed periodically and that the timing of testing be more
unpredictable.
Eric Gagne, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Gary
Matthews Jr., Paul Byrd, Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Paul Lo Duca
and Rick Ankiel were among other current players named in the
report - in fact, there's an All-Star at every position. Some were
linked to Human Growth Hormone, others to steroids.
Only Bonds was mentioned more than Clemens, 103 times, most of
it recounting previous reports.
More than a dozen Yankees, past and present, were identified.
Players were linked to doping in various ways - some were
identified as users, some as buyers and some by media reports and
other investigations.
"According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected
Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens'
performance showed remarkable improvement," the report said.
"During this period of improved performance, Clemens told McNamee
that the steroids 'had a pretty good effect' on him."
McNamee also told investigators that "during the middle of the
2000 season, Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use
steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season,
McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with
testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or
Deca-Durabolin."
Former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski also provided
information as part of his plea agreement in a federal steroids
case. Jose Canseco's book "Juiced" also was cited.
Mitchell urged Selig to hold off on punishing players in the
report "except in those cases where he determines that the conduct
is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the
integrity of the game."
Selig said discipline will be determined in case by case basis,
and actions will be taken "swiftly."
"Former commissioner Fay Vincent told me that the problem of
performance-enhancing substances may be the most serious challenge
that baseball has faced since the 1919 Black Sox scandal,"
Mitchell said in the 409-page report.
"The illegal use of anabolic steroids and similar substances,
in Vincent's view, is 'cheating of the worst sort.' He believes
that it is imperative for Major League Baseball to 'capture the
moral high ground' on the issue and, by words and deeds, make it
clear that baseball will not tolerate the use of steroids and other
performance-enhancing drugs."
Rafael Palmeiro, who tested positive for steroids, was among the
former players named. So were Kevin Brown, Benito Santiago, Lenny
Dykstra, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice, Mo Vaughn and Todd
Hundley.
Mike Stanton, Scott Schoeneweis, Ron Villone and Jerry Hairston
Jr. were among the other current players identified.
"We identify some of the players who were caught up in this
drive to gain a competitive advantage," the report said. "Other
investigations will no doubt turn up more names and fill in more
details, but that is unlikely to significantly alter the
description of baseball's `steroids era' as set forth in this
report."
"The illegal use in baseball of these substances also victimize
the majority of players who don't use them. We heard from many
former players who believe it was grossly unfair that the users
were gaining an advantage," Mitchell said.
The report took issue with assertions that steroids were not
banned before the 2002 collective bargaining agreement.
They had been covered, it said, since the 1971 drug policy
prohibited using any prescription medication without a valid
prescription, and were expressly included in the drug policy in
1991.
"Steroids have been listed as a prohibited substance under the
Major League Baseball drug policy since then," the report said,
although no player was disciplined for them until the 2002 labor
agreement provided for testing.
Mitchell is a director of the Boston Red Sox, and some
questioned whether that created a conflict, especially because none
of their players were in the report.
"Judge me by my work," Mitchell said. "You will not find any
evidence of bias, special treatment, for the Red Sox or anyone
else. That had no effect on this investigation or this report, none
whatsoever."
Giambi, under threat of discipline from Selig, was the only
current player known to have cooperated with the Mitchell
investigation.
"The players' union was largely uncooperative for reasons that
I thought were largely understandable," Mitchell said.


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