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ESPN still waiting to hear from Viņa

Posted: Monday December 17, 2007 12:19AM; Updated: Monday December 17, 2007 1:42AM
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By Richard Deitsch, SI.com

NEW YORK -- Will Fernando Viņa appear on ESPN again? The network says it's up to him. Viņa joined ESPN's Baseball Tonight as an analyst in 2007 but has yet to appear on any ESPN property since being named in the Mitchell Report.

"We reported on him specifically when the Mitchell Report came out," an ESPN spokesman told SI.com Sunday night. "He knows we have been trying to get him on the air since the report came out. We do not definitively know when that will happen. But he knows we are trying to get him on the air."

What's clear is that if Viņa speaks, ESPN expects it to be on its airwaves. Viņa has not publically commented since he was named in the report. He is alleged to have purchased anabolic steriods or human growth hormones "six to eight times" from Mets clubhouse attendant Kirl Radomski from 2000 to 2005.

According to the Mitchell Report, "While Radomski was working for the Mets as a clubhouse attendant in 1993, he met Viņa, who was then in the Mets minor league system. Radomski stated that he sold anabolic steroids or human growth hormone to Viņa six to eight times during 2000 to 2005. Radomski produced three checks from Viņa. Radomski stated that these checks reflected a March 2003 purchase by Vina of human growth hormone, an April 2003 purchase by Viņa of steroids, most likely Winstrol, and a July 2005 purchase by Viņa of Deca-Durabolin ... Radomski recalled details of these steroids sales, including a discussion with Viņa about how quickly Winstrol will 'clear the body' and another discussion in which Viņa said that the July 2005 purchase of Deca-Durabolin was intended to assist Viņa in preparing for spring training in 2006. Vina's name, with an address and two telephone numbers, is listed in the address book seized from Radomski's residence by federal agents."

The network said Viņa had not been scheduled to be part of the Mitchell Report coverage prior to the release of the report.

A National League All-Star in 1998 and two-time Gold Glove winner (2001-02), Viņa hit .282 over 12 seasons for five teams and retired after he was released by the Mariners prior to the 2006 season.