Clemens hit hard in Mitchell Report
Tejada, Bonds, Pettitte, Sheffield, Gagne also named
Posted: Thursday December 13, 2007 12:45PM; Updated: Friday December 14, 2007 12:24PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Page after page, Roger Clemens' name was all over the Mitchell Report.
Count them, 82 times.
But they didn't get the worst of it Thursday. That infamy belonged to Clemens, the greatest pitcher of his era.
The Steroids Era.
"Those who have illegally used these substances range from players whose major league careers were brief to potential members of the Baseball Hall of Fame," former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell wrote in his much-anticipated report on performance-enhancing drugs.
"They include both pitchers and position players, and their backgrounds are as diverse as those of all major league players."
Seven MVPs, two Cy Young Award winners and 31 All-Stars -- one for every position. In all, the 409-page report identified 85 names to differing degrees, putting question marks if not asterisks in the record book and threatening the integrity of the game itself.
"If there are problems, I wanted them revealed," commissioner Bud Selig said. "His report is a call to action, and I will act."
President Bush, who once owned the Texas Rangers, said Friday he's been "troubled by the steroid allegations."
"My hope is that this report is a part of putting the steroid era of baseball behind us," said Bush, surrounded by Cabinet members in the Rose Garden.
The Mitchell Report, he said, means "we can jump to this conclusion: that steroids have sullied the game."
"The players and the owners must take the Mitchell Report seriously," Bush said. "I'm confident they will."
Still, Mitchell urged baseball to put its past behind it.
"You just have to at some point look to the future," he said Friday during an interview with The Associated Press.
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 cited. Some were linked to human growth hormone, others to steroids. Mitchell did not delve into stimulants in his 20-month investigation.
While he vehemently denied it through his lawyer, Clemens was the symbol.
Considered a lock for the Hall of Fame earlier this week, Clemens' path to Cooperstown was thrown in doubt after he was singled out on nearly nine pages.
Seven-time Cy Young Award winner, eighth on the career list with 354 victories, an MVP and All-Star himself, Clemens suddenly had more to worry about than simply whether to play next season.
"It is very unfair to include Roger's name in this report," said Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin. "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."
Much of the information about Clemens came from former New York Yankees major league strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.
According to the report, 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."
The report was unlikely to trigger a wave of discipline. While a few players, such as Bonds, are subjects of ongoing legal proceedings, many of the instances cited by Mitchell were before drug testing began in 2003.
Mitchell said punishment was inappropriate in all but the most egregious cases, and Selig said decisions on any action would come "swiftly" on a case-by-case basis.
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 issued periodically and that the timing of testing be more unpredictable.
"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."
Canseco, whose book "Juiced" was cited throughout, was mentioned the most often -- 105 times. Bonds, already under indictment on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroids, was next at 103.
A total of 20 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.