Top Baseball Stars Named in Report on Steroids Use
A long-awaited report on steroids use in Major League Baseball names dozens of current and former top stars, including Roger Clemens.
The sharply worded report by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell calls for year-round steroids testing to help end a drug culture of pervasive steroid use at all 30 Major League teams.
That culture of drug use included a virtual Hall of Fame of some of the sport's biggest names of recent years: Clemens, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Eric Gagne, Miguel Tejada, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte.
So pervasive was the use of the substances -- which build muscles and endurance quicker than otherwise possible -- Mitchell said, that "hundreds of thousands of children" were also using steroids to get ahead in America's favorite pastime.
"For more than a decade there has been widespread illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball in violation of federal law and baseball policy," Mitchell said at a news conference.
"The response by baseball was slow to develop and was initially ineffective, but it gained momentum after the adoption of a mandatory random drug-testing program in 2002."The report comes at a time when Major League Baseball has become nearly as big of a business as football, bringing in more than $6 billion in revenue this year
The report culminated a 20-month investigation by Mitchell, hired by Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to examine the Steroids Era.
It was uncertain whether the report would result in any penalties or suspensions.
Several stars named in the report 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.
Mitchell's report exposes a "serious drug culture within baseball, from top to bottom," fingers MVPs and All-Stars and calls for beefed-up testing by an outside agency to clean up the game.
"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 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."
"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."