A star-studded roster of players— including Canadian reliever Eric Gagné and former Blue Jays pitcher Roger Clemens— were linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in the long-awaited Mitchell report released Thursday.
All-time home-run king Barry Bonds,already under indictment on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroids, also showed up, as did Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada and Tigers outfielder Gary Sheffield, among many others.
The report culminated a 20-month investigation by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, hired by baseball commissioner Bud Selig to examine theuse of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.
"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.
Report names names
More than 80 players were linked to doping in various ways,someidentified as users, some as buyers, and some by media reports and other investigations. Jose Canseco's 2005 memoir Juiced also was cited.
Jason Giambi, Gary Matthews Jr., Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Paul Lo Duca and Rick Ankiel were among otheractive 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.
Also named were several retired players, including Rafael Palmeiro, Lenny Dykstra, David Justice, Mo Vaughan, Chuck Knoblauch, Denny Neagle and Kevin Brown.
CurrentBlue Jays Gregg Zaun and Troy Glaus were also named in the report along with ex-Toronto players Clemens, Canseco, Benito Santiago, Howie Clark and Glenallen Hill.
Former Montreal Expos David Segui, Tim Laker, Rondell White, F.P. Santangelo andMike Lansing were also named as well.
Alleged HGH sent to Gagné
Gagné, who hails from Montreal,was sentshipments of Human Growth Hormone during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to the report.
The reliever this week signed a one-year, $10-million deal with theMilwaukee Brewers afterending lastseason with theBoston Red Sox.
Clemens, whoseplaying status for next season is in limbo after his one-year deal with the Yankees expired,was singled out in nearly nine pages of Mitchell's report. Much of the information on the seven-time Cy Young Award winner came from former Blue Jays and Yankees strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.
Clemens won the AL Cy Young in each of his two seasons in Toronto — 1997 and 1998 — before being traded to the Yankees.
"According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens's 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."
'Maintain the integrity of the game'
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 labelled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin.
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."
Mitchell is a director of the Red Sox, and some questioned whether that created a conflict.
"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."
Discipline still open to question
Whether any player named in the report will be subject to discipline by baseball remains open to question.
Later on Thursday, Selig held his own press conference to say discipline will be determined on a "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," Selig said.
In 1920, eight players, including then-superstar outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, were kicked out of baseball for life after an investigation into whether they tried to throw the 1919 World Series.
No such suspensions are expected in this scandal of modern times.