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Gooden Seeks Drug Clause in His Contract

November 12, 1986

New York Met pitcher Dwight Gooden, sensitive to rumors that he might be involved with drugs, says he will ask for a drug-testing clause in his next contract.

Gooden, the National League's Cy Young Award winner in 1985, told the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune in an article published Tuesday that he has never taken drugs and does not have a problem with alcohol, either.

"Beer is what I drink and not much of that," said Gooden, who posted a 17-6 regular-season record in 1986. "Wine makes me sick. Drugs? No. I never use them and I never will."

Gooden said he has asked his agent, Jim Neader, to request a drug-testing clause in his new contract with the Mets.

"It can be for a test every week, every two days, as often as they want, and it can be forever," Gooden said in an interview conducted at the Tampa home he shares in the off-season with his parents and 8-month-old son, Dwight, Jr.

The latest wave of rumors began after Gooden started four games in postseason play without winning any of them. Gooden also did not show up for a ticker-tape parade honoring the team after it won the World Series.

Gooden, who will turn 22 Sunday, said the rumors began during a midseason slump that saw him lose four straight decisions.

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