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Rose Wanted Part of Drug Ring, Janszen Says : Ex-Associate Claims Manager Offered to Store Cocaine in Home, Baseball Report Reveals

June 28, 1989|ROSS NEWHAN | Times Staff Writer

The gambling accusations against Manager Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds were compounded Tuesday with the release of testimony by a former associate that Rose attempted to get involved in cocaine deals and offered to store cocaine in his house.

Paul Janszen, a former house guest of Rose who claims he ran bets for the Reds' manager, also told baseball's special investigator John Dowd in February that Rose, seeking tax-free cash, once asked him to set up a cocaine ring and include Rose in it.

Janszen also said that Rose told him he might consider throwing a game if he had a large bet on it and that Rose checked with other managers regarding the physical status of their players before deciding whether he would bet on their teams.

The testimony was included in thousands of pages of exhibits attached to Dowd's report on Rose's alleged gambling activity. The report was released on court order Monday, but the exhibits were not released until Tuesday.

It was the first time Rose has been linked to the cocaine ring operated by former associates who ran a gymnasium in Cincinnati, where Rose worked out.

Rose refused comment at Riverfront Stadium Tuesday. One of his attorneys, Robert A. Pitcairn, was quoted as saying:

"This idea of Rose being involved with drugs is so far off the wall that it's ridiculous. (To) anyone who knows Pete Rose and has known Pete Rose over the years, there's just no question he wouldn't get involved with drugs.

"For Janszen to say this is slander of the worst kind. It's further evidence to us that this guy will do anything to follow through with his blackmail attempts of Pete Rose. Why Dowd's investigators even went into areas like this is beyond me."

A spokeswoman for Dowd, who refused comment Tuesday, said the drug references were left out of Dowd's report to Commissioner Bart Giamatti because they were not relevant to the gambling inquiry.

Janszen, who recently completed a six-month sentence for tax evasion, is one of Rose's chief accusers in the gambling report. Rose could be suspended for life if it is established that he bet on the Reds, which he is accused of having done regularly in the report.

Rose has a temporary court order that prevents Giamatti from conducting a hearing that could result in his suspension. Attorneys for Giamatti have asked the 1st Ohio District Court of Appeals to suspend the restraining order. Rose's legal staff must reply to the appeal today.

During his interview with baseball investigators last February, Janszen said in the exhibit released Tuesday that Rose showed him a copy of his 1987 income tax return and told him that if he could "set up a cocaine organization and include me in it . . . "

Janszen also said that Rose told him that Tommy Gioiosa, a former bodybuilder who lived with Rose for a time and allegedly ran bets for him, brought a suitcase containing $200,000 into the Reds' clubhouse during the 1987 season and showed Rose the money, which supposedly was going to be used to buy cocaine in Florida.

"Well, they used to tell me that Pete was really excited and he wanted to get in on that," Janszen said. "He wanted part of that because it was cash money and he wanted part of the cocaine deal."

Janszen also said that Gioiosa discussed cocaine with him in Rose's presence at a race track, but Janszen refused to become involved.

"And I said to Pete when we were down in spring training and we were driving back one time, I said, 'Why would you want to get involved in the cocaine business?' " Janszen said.

According to Janszen, Rose told him that he had a certificate of deposit for $65,000 or $75,000 that was maturing in a few weeks. He quoted Rose as saying: "I'll use that money and buy the kilos and I'll keep them in my house because nobody would have the . . . to come to my house."

Janszen and Gioiosa, who was recently indicted on conspiring to smuggle drugs and tax evasion, are known to have worked out with Rose at Gold's Gym in Cincinnati.

The gym was owned by two other Rose associates, Michael Fry and Donald Stenger, who have both pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and cocaine trafficking. Fry is serving an eight-year sentence, and Stenger was recently sentenced to 10 years.

Rose, in a deposition taken by Dowd, said he had no knowledge of cocaine "being around" during the years that he associated with the Gold's Gym group and doubted that anyone could verify if Fry brought money into the clubhouse.

Though Dowd recently told reporters that he had no information linking Rose to the possible fixing of a game, Janszen said in the exhibit that Rose had told him he would think about it if he had "enough riding" on it.

"Hell, Paul, I could pinch-hit a guy at the wrong time, hit and run at the wrong time or bunt at the wrong time," Janszen said Rose told him.

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