Bay Area stars and fan favorites stood out prominently among the 85 players singled out and linked to performance-enhancing drugs by a former senator investigating the issue for Major League Baseball.
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on Thursday released the results of a 20-month investigation into the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs by pro baseball players; 22 players named appeared on the rosters of the San Francisco Giants or Oakland A’s.
Some of those, such as former Giants left fielder Barry Bonds and former A’s first baseman Jason Giambi, were already linked through law-enforcement investigations to steroids and other drugs. Bonds has repeatedly said he used them unknowingly.
Among the nearly two dozen Bay Area players are 2002 American League Most Valuable Player and former A’s shortstop Miguel Tejada, former Giant, Athletic and KNBR radio broadcaster F.P. Santangelo, A’s designated hitter Jack Cust, former Giantspitcher Matt Herges and former A’s outfielder David Justice.
An A’s spokeswoman declined to comment, and a call to Bonds’ attorney Michael Rains was not returned.
Click image for full-size graphic.
In a prepared statement, Giants President Peter Magowan said “the report clearly demonstrates the pervasiveness of the problem. The Giants accept our fair share of responsibility.”
Mitchell and his team pored through thousands of documents and conducted hundreds of interviews after Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig requested the investigation.
Players from every major-league team have been involved with performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, according to the report. Those using drugs range from “players whose major league careers were brief to potential members of the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Mitchell wrote.
Evidence of steroid use by players includes copies of checks to admitted steroid dealers, such as Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee, appearances in databases of questionable medical clinics and postage receipts of shipments from steroid dealers to players.
Radomski, a former New York Mets clubhouse attendant, admitted to providing human growth hormone to players, including Santangelo when he was with the A’s, according to the report.
The only current Bay Area major-leaguer named in the report was Cust, whose agent Thursday denied any past or current steroid use.
According to the report, Cust admitted to then-Baltimore Orioles teammate Larry Bigbie that he had used steroids.
“Cust eventually asked Bigbie if he had ever tried steroids. Bigbie acknowledged that he had, and Cust said that he, too, had tried steroids,” according to the report.
Former A’s utility fielder Randy Velarde admitted through his lawyer that he obtained performance-enhancing drugs from Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson, according to the report.
“Velarde would have told us he received ‘the cream’ and ‘the clear’ from Anderson” when he played for the A’s, Mitchell wrote.
The report was unlikely to trigger a wave of discipline. While a few players, including Bonds, are subjects of ongoing legal proceedings, many of the instances cited by Mitchell were before MLB drug testing began in 2003.