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Mitchell report in Selig's hands

Results of steroid probe reportedly to be released Thursday, with 60 to 80 players set to be named.

December 12, 2007|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Commissioner Bud Selig ordered the investigation, and now he has the names, perhaps enough to fill three major league rosters.

Former Sen. George Mitchell's investigation into baseball's steroid era is complete, and the commissioner's office is reviewing his report, a source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. The report is expected to be released publicly Thursday, with Mitchell and Selig likely to hold news conferences that day.

The New York Daily News reported on its website Tuesday that the report is believed to contain the names of 60 to 80 current and former players. Angels owner Arte Moreno told The Times last month that "the names of players will come out that people will be mad about."

The players' union had not seen a copy of the report as of Tuesday afternoon, and it is uncertain whether union officials will get a copy before the public release, another source said. The commissioner's office is reviewing the report in part to ensure no information is released in violation of the collective bargaining agreement, the source said.

Kirk Radomski, a former clubhouse attendant for the New York Mets, pleaded guilty to illegal steroid distribution and met with Mitchell this year as part of a plea bargain. Radomski is widely considered to have led Mitchell to the bulk of the names in the report.

The federal affidavit filed in Radomski's case listed 23 bank deposits with "identifiable MLB names" in amounts "consistent with purchases of performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids and human growth hormone." It is uncertain whether those deposits reflect purchases by 23 separate players or multiple purchases by a smaller number of players.

It also is uncertain whether Radomski provided additional names to Mitchell. The affidavit cited a source that reported "if a professional baseball player was currently using performance-enhancing drugs . . . then that player likely would be getting it from Kirk Radomski."

The deposits cited in the affidavit occurred from 2003 to 2005. Baseball started steroid testing in 2003 but did not institute penalties until 2004 and did not suspend players for a first offense until 2005. HGH use was not banned or subject to penalty until 2005.

Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees, the only active player known to have spoken with Mitchell, is one of three active players associated with the BALCO investigation in San Francisco. Gary Sheffield of the Detroit Tigers and home run king Barry Bonds, a free agent faced with federal perjury charges, are the others.

It is unclear how Selig might punish active players named in the report, although last week's decision to suspend two players and spare four could offer a clue.

Selig suspended Jay Gibbons of Baltimore and Jose Guillen of Kansas City for 15 days each, based on information from a New York investigation linking each player to the use of performance-enhancing substances at a time those substances were banned under baseball rules and under penalties in place at the time. The current drug policy suspends first offenders for 50 games.

Selig spared Gary Matthews Jr. of the Angels, Troy Glaus of Toronto, Rick Ankiel of St. Louis and Scott Schoeneweis of the New York Mets because of "insufficient evidence" linking those players to the use of specific substances during a time they were banned.

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