Mitchell report

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Mitchell Report proposes solutions

12/13/2007 11:02 PM ET

By Barry M. Bloom /

NEW YORK -- Former Sen. George Mitchell said on Thursday that performance-enhancing drug use has been pervasive in the sport for more than a decade as he released his findings in the shape of a 311-page report, which was fashioned during the past 20 months of investigations.

"Everyone involved in baseball shares responsibility," Mitchell said during a news conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. "Commissioners, club officials, the Players Association and players. I can't be any clearer than that."

In all, 89 players were named in the report, including free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals, as well as a list of players like Barry Bonds who have already been publicly associated with steroid use.

The report itself is posted at and is available to read in its entirety.

"The illegal use of performance-enhancing substances poses a serious threat to the integrity of the game," the Mitchell 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.

"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."

Commissioner Bud Selig, reacting to Mitchell's report, said during his own news conference shortly thereafter that he intended to deal with the background and recommendations made in the report in a transparent manner.

"The fact of the matter is that it happened," Selig said. "This document should act as a road map not only for us, but for the people that come after us. What we all need to do is move forward now. I'm satisfied that he achieved what I asked him to set out to do."

Don Fehr, the long-time executive director of the Players Association, said he hadn't been able to read the report and couldn't fully comment on it.

"We did request a meaningful opportunity to review his lengthy report prior to today, but that request was denied by both Sen. Mitchell and the Commissioner's office," said Fehr, whose union was cited in the report as having been "uncooperative." "We saw this report only an hour before it was made public. For now, however, we can say the following:

"Many players are named, their reputations affected forever, even if it turns out down the road that they should not have been."

Clemens was the player with the most notoriety to be included in the Mitchell Report. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner and apparent lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, was singled out by name 82 times in nearly nine pages of the report. Most of the information regarding Clemens came from former Yankees Major League strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.

Through his attorney, Rusty Hardin, Clemens denied he used performance-enhancing drugs and expressed outrage that his name was included in the report.

"I have great respect for Senator Mitchell. I think an overall look at this problem in baseball was an excellent idea," Hardin said in a statement. "But I respectfully suggest it is very unfair to include Roger's name in this report. He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong."

The reaction to Mitchell's Report from Capitol Hill was immediate. All three -- Mitchell, Selig and Fehr -- have been asked to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday. Congressional pressure, exercised by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, was one of the reasons why Selig commissioned Mitchell and his committee to generate the report in March, 2006.

"This is a sad day for Major League Baseball but a good day for integrity in sports," the Committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking minority member Tom Davis said in a joint statement. "It's an important step towards the goal of eliminating the use of performance enhancing substances.

"The Mitchell report is sobering. It shows the use of steroids and human growth hormone has been and is a significant problem in Major League Baseball. And it shows that everyone involved in Major League Baseball bears some responsibility for this scandal."

Aside from delving deeply into the past, Mitchell made 19 recommendations on how to move forward and strengthen the current Major League drug policy, which was collectively bargained in 2002 and has been re-opened twice to stiffen the penalties. Mitchell is seeking, among other things, an independent overseer, greater education, increased off-season testing and state-of-the art testing procedures.

Selig said he intends to implement as many of Mitchell's recommendations as possible that don't need to be collectively bargained with the union. One of them, 24-hour notice of a pending drug test, has already been eliminated, he said.

Mitchell also asked Selig to show restraint and not penalize the current players whose names are mentioned in the report along with the pertinent evidence that points toward their use of performance-enhancing drugs, "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 he would digest Mitchell's remarks, but would handle discipline on a "case-by-case" basis.

"I will take action where it is appropriate," said Selig, who already had meted out 15-day suspensions at the start of next season to Jay Gibbons and Jose Guillen for their part in their Albany, N.Y., investigation.

The union has already grieved Guillen's suspension with a hearing most probably early next year.

Mitchell is a director of the Boston Red Sox, and was chairman of The Walt Disney Co., the parent of ESPN, at the time Selig established the committee on March 30, 2006, charging it with leaving "no stone unturned" in its quest to determine what happened in baseball's so-called steroid era.

When questioned about those ties, Mitchell said that a reading of the full report will prove it's not biased.

"Judge me by my work," he said. "Take a look at how the investigation was conducted. Read the report. You will not find any evidence of bias, of special treatment of the Red Sox or anyone else because there is none."

Mitchell said that about two dozen people from his law firm, including himself, were involved part-time in producing and investigating the report. Though both Selig and Mitchell declined to put a price tag on it, CNN reported that the cost may be as high as $20 million.

"Let's put it this way, the cost of not doing it would've been a lot higher," Selig said.

Several of the players mentioned in the Mitchell Report have been connected to performance-enhancing drug use in the past. In recent years, Bonds, Kevin Brown, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and the late Ken Caminiti, among others, have all been linked to reports or have admitted their own steroid use.

A considerable number of names also appeared in the report in contextual stories detailing the actions of other players. Multiple players were invited to meet with Mitchell's probe as he gathered facts but declined. Mitchell said that each player mentioned in the report was offered a fair opportunity to refute the allegations.

Mitchell, whose committee had no power to compel testimony or evidence, said in the report that more than 700 witnesses were interviewed, including 550 current or former club official, managers, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers and resident security agents. Sixteen more were also called from the Commissioner's office, including Selig, Bob DuPuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, and Rob Manfred, its vice president of labor relations and human resources.

"The Players Association was largely uncooperative," Mitchell wrote, noting that Fehr was interviewed once, while Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer, declined.

Only two current players testified -- Giambi, under threat of suspension from Selig, and Frank Thomas, who has been outspoken on the issue, but has never been linked with performance-enhancing drug use. Mitchell wrote that five such players were asked to appear, but Thomas was the only one to accept.

"His comments were informative and helpful," Mitchell wrote about Thomas.

In addition, 500 former players were asked to appear, but only 68 accepted the invitation. Selig, for his part, said he was "disappointed" in the lack cooperation by current union members, although Mitchell called it "understandable."

Much of Mitchell's information came via ongoing federal and state investigations into the sale of performance enhancing drugs and any evidence given to his committee very well may have been subpoenaed in those still ongoing investigations, placing the players in legal jeopardy.

One of the keys to Mitchell's investigation was the willingness earlier this year of Kirk Radomski, a bat boy, equipment manager and clubhouse attendant for the Mets from 1985-95, to provide his committee with players' names as part of his plea bargain with the federal government in the case against the Bay Area Co-Operative Laboratory. In addition, Radomski provided mailing receipts of shipments as well as checks and money orders from players, all included in the report.

Radomski pleaded guilty to providing players with performance-enhancing drugs during that period, and an entire section of the Mitchell Report largely circled around Radomski's testimony.

McNamee, who worked closely with Clemens, Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, provided extensive context as well.

McNamee told Mitchell that he provided Clemens with steroids and HGH during the late 1990s, but said he had no knowledge of Clemens' actions after 2001; McNamee also said that he injected Pettitte on two to four occasions with HGH.

A national investigation by an Albany, N.Y., district attorney unearthed the names of nine former or current players involved with procuring performance-enhancing drugs, either through southern U.S. clinics or pharmacies doing business via the Internet.

Seven of them -- Rick Ankiel of the Cardinals, Gary Matthews Jr. of the Angels, Jerry Hairston Jr. of the Rangers, Gibbons of the Orioles, Paul Byrd of the Indians, Troy Glaus of the Blue Jays, Scott Schoeneweis of the Mets and Guillen, who just signed as a free agent with the Royals -- were interviewed by the Commissioner's Office.

Although, Gibbons and Guillen have been penalized, due to insufficient evidence, no disciplinary action was taken against Ankiel, Matthews Jr., Glaus and Schoeneweis. Results of the Byrd and Hairston reviews have not yet been made public.

The report was delivered with the backdrop of Bonds having just pleaded not guilty last Friday in a San Francisco federal court on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.

Bonds' plea related to his own use of performance-enhancing drugs in testimony he gave four years ago before a grand jury investigating BALCO for money laundering and illegally selling performance-enhancing drugs without prescriptions.

Bonds is referred to in the report 103 times, but Mitchell breaks no new ground in that area. Bonds declined to be interviewed or respond to written questions about his alleged drug use, Mitchell wrote.

Selig appointed Mitchell after he read the book "Game of Shadows," which documented the BALCO investigation, and in which Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield were among a number of players subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury under grants of immunity. ... 324860.jsp

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Closer look: Former Chicago players named in Mitchell Report

Adam Caldarelli at 2:41 p.m.

After a quick scan of the 409-page Mitchell Report released today, it appears nine former Cubs and four former White Sox players are mentioned by name linked to performance enhancing drugs.

This does not include minor-league players, like Jeremy Giambi.

You can read the entire report here in pdf, if you've got a few hours to kill. Also, the Tribune's Marc Gonzales takes a look at the Sox.

The biggest names listed are Roger Clemens, Eric Gagne and Kevin Brown and former AL MVPs Mo Vaugn and Miguel Tejada. As for the Cubs and Sox, they're much smaller fish.

On the whole, there is not a whole lot of new information in the rather anti-climactic report.

Sammy Sosa's name is mentioned but only to say he didn't respond to a letter with questions.

Perhaps the most interesting part of anti-climactic report in relation to Chicago's teams, is a section about former Sox and Cubs reliever Matt Karchner, who talked to investigators.

Karchner alleges that while as a member of the Cubs he witnessed two teammates inject steroids in an apartment the three shared during spring training before the 1999 season.

"Karchner declined to identify the players. He said that one of the players brought the steroids to the apartment but was afraid of needles and therefore asked the second player to administer the shot. The second player injected the first player with steroids in the buttocks and then injected himself.

"Later that season, Karchner was offered steroids by certain of his Cubs teammates. Karchner would not disclose the names of players who offered him steroids, but he said that the conversations he had with them involved the general cost of steroids and discussions of "stacking" to build lean muscle necessary for pitchers. Karchner did not report either of these incidents to anyone at the time."

Also named on the report was Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, in whom the Cubs had expressed interest during the winter meetings.

Frank Thomas was one of a few current players who spoke to investigators. "His comments were informative and helpful," the report says.

Most players are linked to an investigation of former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski:

Glenallen Hill

Hill, who played for the Cubs in 1993 and 1994 and again from 1998-2000, admitted he bought steroids and HGH from Radomski but never used them.

Rondell White

A photo copy of a check for $3,500 from Rondell White, who played for the Cubs for two years in 2000 and 2001, appears in the report.

Todd Hundley

According to the report, "Radomski stated that, beginning in 1996, he sold Deca-Durabolin and testosterone to Hundley on three or four occasions."

Benito Santiago

The former Cubs catcher is mentioned in the portion of the report dedicated to the BALCO investigation.

Kent Mercker

Lefty reliever who played for the Cubs from 2004-05, is named but didn't respond to Mitchell's questions.

"Radomski stated that he sold one kit of human growth hormone to Mercker in October 2002. Mercker had recently undergone surgery and, according to Radomski, was seeking human growth hormone because he believed it might accelerate his recovery. Radomski sent the growth hormone by overnight mail; Mercker paid by check."

Mercker didn't respond.

Jerry Hairston Jr.

"Radomski produced one check from Hairston dated June 16, 2003."

Gary Matthews Jr.

The former Cubs outfield's name has surfaced in the past linked to the Signature Pharmacy investigation.

Matt Franco

A former Cubs draft pick who played who played 16 games for the Cubs in 1995, is alleged to have bought steroids once in 2000. Franco spoke by telephone to investigators and denied the accusations and evening knowing Radomski.

Jim Parque

"Radomski said that during the 2003 off-season Parque sent Radomski a bottle of Winstrol to "check out." Radomski determined it was "no good" and discarded it. Radomski produced two checks from Parque. The first was dated October 18,2003 in the amount of $3,200; the second was dated December 6, 2003 in the amount of $1,600."

Former White Sox pitchers Scott Schoeneweis and Armando Rios and Cubs pitcher Ismael Valdez were cited in previously known reports.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribu ... ubs-2.html

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Jim Hendry responds to Mitchell report

December 13, 2007

BY GORDON WITTENMYER [email protected]

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry’s first reaction to the Mitchell Report today was one of relief that none of his players was among the 88 named in the report.

I haven’t had time to get into the report for any extensive length to digest it in any way,’’ he said during a teleconference.I was grateful with the knowledge that none of the present Cubs were listed as involved.’’

One notable name from a Cubs standpoint, however, was Baltimore’s all-star second baseman, Brian Roberts, who was loosely implicated by association with former Oriole Larry Bigbie, who provided testimony to the Mitchell investigative team.

The Cubs have targeted Roberts prominently as they try to acquire a second left-handed hitter to go with free agent Kosuke Fukudome. Unlike the cases with most of the names mentioned in the report, there was little information provided suggesting Roberts actually used or purchased performance-enhancing substances �" with only Bigbie’s documented recollection that Roberts told him he had injected himself once or twice in 2003.

Asked whether showing up on the list of names in the Mitchell Report would prevent the Cubs from pursuing a player they might otherwise want, Hendry would only said, ``I haven’t dissected the report at all. I was just informed none of our present players were on the list. To comment on that would be really foolish.’’

Eleven former Cubs were listed in the report, including Jerry Hairston Jr., Todd Hundley, Kent Mercker, Glenallen Hill, Ismael Valdez, Gary Matthews Jr. and Rondell White.

One Cubs connection in the report is former major leaguer David Segui, an admitted steroids and HGH user during his career, who showed up prominently in the report. Segui, who once played for Cubs manager Lou Piniella in Seattle, was a volunteer instructor on the Cubs’ minor-league side of camp during spring training in 2007.

Hendry would not comment on Segui’s relationship with the team beyond that or whether he would be asked or allowed to return next spring. ... 7.article#

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Findings, conclusions

• "For more than a decade there has been widespread anabolic steroid use" in baseball.

• Response to the problem from baseball and its players was slow to develop and initially ineffective.

• None of the 30 teams was immune from having a player who used performance-enhancing drugs.

• The report, which named 87 players, was not meant to include everyone who had abused substances over the last decade. "I acknowledge the obvious. There is much I did not learn."

• "While the interest in names is understandable, I hope the media and the public will keep that part of the report in context and will look beyond the individuals to the central conclusions and recommendations of this report."

• Mitchell said that "being chained to the past is not helpful. Baseball does not need and cannot afford to engage in a never-ending search for the name of every player who ever used performance-enhancing substances."

• "The current [testing] program has been effective in that detectable steroid use appears to have declined. However, that does not mean that players have stopped using performance-enhancing substances. Many players have shifted to human growth hormone, which is not detectable in any currently available urine test."

• Some players were given advance notice before their supposedly random drug tests.

• Mitchell said youths emulate major leaguers and cited surveys showing 3 to 6 percent of adolescents have used performance-enhancing drugs. "Every American, not just baseball fans, ought to be shocked into action by that disturbing truth."

• Mitchell is against Commissioner Bud Selig disciplining players, whether they were named in the report or not, "except in those cases where he determines that the conduct is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game. … It is now time to look to the future, to get on with the important and difficult task that lies ahead. Everyone involved in Major League Baseball should join in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort to bring the era of steroids and human growth hormone to an end and to prevent its recurrence in some other form in the future."

The names

• Several pages were devoted to pitchers Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, and Andy Pettitte, who employed strength coach Brian McNamee for years. "According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens' performance showed remarkable improvement."

• Many of the names released in the report came courtesy of former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who allegedly sold steroids and human growth hormone to players. Checks, money orders, mailing receipts and telephone records were seized.

• Among the more famous names included in the report, many of whom no longer play, are: Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, John Rocker, Kevin Brown, Mo Vaughn, Miguel Tejada, Paul Lo Duca, David Justice and Eric Gagne.

• All players whose names appeared were invited to meet with Mitchell, but he said almost all of those currently active refused to do so. "The players' union was largely uncooperative, and for reasons that I think are understandable." Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas were the only players who cooperated.

• Among the players not named in the report are Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who both broke Roger Maris' home run record of 61 during their 1998 seasons with the Cardinals and Cubs, respectively. Both have been tied to allegations of steroid use, but, again, Mitchell's report surely just scratched the surface of guilty players.

The blame

• "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. There was a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on. As a result, an environment developed in which illegal use became widespread."

• Owners and the players' association debated for years before finally settling on drug-testing programs. There is still animosity over the issue between the two.

• "To prolong this debate will not resolve it; each side will dig in its heels even further. But it could seriously and perhaps fatally detract from what I believe to be a critical necessity: the need for everyone in baseball to work together to devise and implement the strongest possible strategy to combat the illegal use of performance-enhancing substances, including the recommendations set forth in this report."


• The commissioner's office should establish a Department of Investigations and cooperate more effectively with law-enforcement agencies so it can "respond promptly and aggressively to allegations of illegal use or possession of performance-enhancing drugs."

• The commissioner's office also should actively use teams' powers as employers to help in investigations.

• The testing program should be completely independent and "transparent" and be administered year-round unannounced.

• All clubs should have clear, written and well-publicized policies for reporting information relating to possible performance-enhancing substance violations.

• The commissioner's office should require each major- and minor-league club to establish a system to log every package received for a player at its facilities.

• All prospective clubhouse personnel should undergo background investigations, and those currently employed should be subject to drug testing.

• A hot line should be established for reporting anonymous tips.

• Top draft prospects should be tested before the event. ... -headlines

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