Former Mets employee busted in raid
Pleads guilty to distributing steroids to MLBers
Posted: Friday April 27, 2007 4:25PM; Updated: Friday April 27, 2007 5:37PM
Since last summer, Sports Illustrated reporters Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim have been investigating an alleged illegal steroid distribution network that has implicated pro athletes.
SI.com: What's the latest?
Llosa/Wertheim: Today, the IRS agents, FBI and U.S. Attorneys office in California that pursued the BALCO case made a significant announcement. Kirk J. Radomski, a New York Mets clubhouse employee between 1985 and 1995, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to distribution of a controlled substance -- a schedule three anabolic steroid -- to "dozens of Major Leaguers on teams throughout the league." He also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. (Combined, these charges are punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.)
Earlier this spring, the steroid-related news pertained to the break-up of a distribution chain linking the Internet sites to anti-aging clinics and compound pharmacies. Now, the BALCO investigative team is back in the picture.
SI.com: Have any baseball players implicated by Radomski been named?
Llosa/Wertheim: None have been named yet. But stay tuned. The documents we reviewed -- an affidavit for an application for a search warrant -- indicates that: "Numerous significant deposits from current and former [Major League Baseball] players and some affiliated individuals" were made to Radomski. According to the documents, he received more than $23,000 in more than 20 different payments between 2003 and 2005 that are alleged to have been made in conjunction with steroids purchases. Already cell phone numbers belonging to current and former MLB players have been identified.
SI.com: How does this tie in to BALCO?
Llosa/Wertheim: At least one Major League baseball player associated with BALCO has also been implicated in this investigation. An investigator working on the case called Radomski a "major drug source in professional baseball now that the BALCO lab has been taken down."
SI.com: What performance enhancing drugs did Radomski distribute?
Llosa/Wertheim: The guilty plea was made in conjunction with testosterone, a schedule three steroid. But, through recorded conversations, investigators also allege that Radomski distributed HGH (human growth hormone), Deca-durabolin, amphetamines and testosterone.
In his written plea agreement, Radomski states, "Beginning in approximately 1995 and continuing through until December 14, 2005, when a search warrant was executed at my residence, I distributed anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, including Human Growth Hormone and Clenbuterol, as well as amphetamines, to dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players (on teams spread throughout Major League Baseball) and associates. I deposited the payments for those anabolic steroids into my personal bank account and I then used the proceeds to finance my residence, which was the base of operation, warehouse, and communications center for my anabolic steroid-dealing business."
SI.com: What makes this significant?
Llosa/Wertheim: A few things. First, though Radomski hasn't worked for the Mets for more than a decade, this is a baseball "insider," someone with access to clubhouses, being implicated. According to investigators, Radomski developed his network of contacts while employed with the Mets. (A Mets official confirmed that Radomski worked for the team in a "clubhouse capacity.") They believe he began distributing the performing-enhancing drugs after his employment.
Also, we're told that Radomski, as part of the plea agreement, is cooperating with former Senator George Mitchell's investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball. This investigation -- at least until now -- suffered from a lack of cooperation. "This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone," says Matt Parrella, a federal prosecutor working on the case. "[His] clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players and [his] work spanned a decade.
SI.com: Do we know anything else about Radomski?
Llosa/Wertheim: Radomski, 37, is a former bodybuilder with a listed residence in Lindenhurst, N.Y., which was allegedly his base of operations. On his tax returns from 2003 and 2004 he listed his occupation as "personal trainer."
On account of information obtained by a confidential informant working with the FBI, on Dec. 14, 2005, Radomski's residence was raided. The raid resulted in the seizure of thousands of doses of numerous types of anabolic steroids, both in pill and injectable forms. Other drugs, including clenbuterol and insulin growth factor, were seized as well. Shipping records, financial records, correspondences that detailed Radomski's distribution of drugs to professional baseball players were also seized pursuant to the search warrant.
Immediately after the execution of the search warrant, Radomski agreed to cooperate with the investigation.