Mitchell Report mentions pair of Jays
Former senator's document includes plan for future action
TORONTO -- Two current Blue Jays players, third baseman Troy Glaus and catcher Gregg Zaun, were among the dozens implicated Thursday in former Sen. George Mitchell's report to Major League Baseball about performance-enhancing drugs.
Zaun and Glaus were among 10 players with Toronto ties who were named in the Report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts. Other former Jays named are Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Scott Schoeneweis, Glenallen Hill, Howie Clark, David Segui, Benito Santiago and Bobby Estalella.
Toronto designated hitter Frank Thomas was also cited in the Report, but for an entirely different reason. During his investigation, Mitchell requested interviews with five current Major Leaguers who have spoken publicly about the steroids issue. Of the five, Thomas was the only player who agreed to speak with the former senator, who reported that "his comments were informative and helpful."
Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey said that he spoke with both Zaun and Glaus on Thursday to discuss the matter. Zaun was willing to issue a brief reaction to the allegations through Toronto's media relations department, but Godfrey did not indicate whether or not Glaus would respond to the Report.
"I wanted to tell them that I was going to make a statement saying that I was disappointed to see their names," Godfrey said on Thursday night. "I also told them that, as far as I knew, as far as players who play for the Toronto Blue Jays, I only knew of their participation as exemplary players on and off the field.
"Troy has already been cleared by Major League Baseball and I told Gregg he'd have his opportunity to do the same."
According to the Report, Zaun purchased steroids through former Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski six years ago. Glaus was named in connection with online purchases of performance-enhancing substances through a California anti-aging clinic in 2003-04, when he was with the Angels.
"I'm in no place to judge what anybody else has done," said Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells, who is Toronto's union representative. "They're grown men and they make their own decisions. When you do things that are illegal, people are going to find out about it. Obviously, those guys have to deal with the repercussions of what happens after this Report is out.
"People have probably done a lot worse things than doing steroids," he added. "I'm not going to view them any differently. [Zaun and Glaus] are both my teammates and we're all playing for one common goal, to win. Whatever choices they made in the past, that's on them."
Radomski, who served as a batboy, equipment manager and clubhouse attendant with the New York Mets from 1985-95, aided Mitchell's investigation by providing names of players as part of a plea bargain with the federal government in the case against the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
Radomski indicated that Zaun purchased steroids in 2001, when the catcher played for the Royals.
"I am stunned by the allegations set forth in Senator Mitchell's report," Zaun said in a statement released by the Blue Jays on Thursday night. "I emphatically deny these allegations but am not prepared to comment further at this time."
Prior to the Mitchell Report's unveiling, the 36-year-old catcher discussed the upcoming document in an article that appeared in the National Post on Wednesday.
"I don't know what the Report says," Zaun told the newspaper on Wednesday. "But if there's not hard evidence like a failed drug test or somebody got caught purchasing drugs or anything like that, it seems like they're opening themselves up to a whole lot of negative press for really no reason at all. It baffles me. It really does."
Included in the Report is a scanned image of a check, which Radomski said was sent to him by Zaun to purchase Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol -- two specific types of anabolic steroids. The check is difficult to read, but it bears Zaun's signature and is made out to Radomski.
According to the Mitchell Report, Radomski indicated that he believed Zaun was referred to him by former pitcher Jason Grimsley. Radomski could not recall who ordered the steroids for Zaun, who never spoke directly with Radomski about the transaction, according to the document. The drugs were then allegedly delivered to the Kansas City clubhouse.
Earlier in the newly released Report, Mitchell wrote that Luis Perez, a bullpen catcher for the Montreal Expos, told investigators from the Commissioner's Office during an interview in January 2003 that he personally supplied Zaun with anabolic steroids. Former Kansas City manager Tony Muser was also cited in relation to a conversation with Zaun in which the catcher denied steroid use.
Mitchell attempted to set up a meeting with Zaun to further discuss the allegations, but the catcher declined to speak with the former senator. Godfrey said that Zaun may issue further response in the coming days.
"If you want to investigate what is going on in the game of baseball right now, fine. But what happened years ago, who cares?" Zaun was quoted as saying in Wednesday's National Post. "I don't think this is anything more than an attempt for certain people in the game of baseball to leave their mark on the game somehow."
Glaus allegedly purchased nandrolone -- an anabolic steroid -- and testosterone through an anti-aging clinic in California in 2003-04, and had the drugs delivered to an address in California. Glaus, who is entering his third season with the Jays, was first implicated in a report on SI.com on Sept. 7.
Last week, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball concluded its investigation of Glaus, along with Schoeneweis, Rick Ankiel and Gary Matthews Jr., and "determined that, with respect to each player, there was insufficient evidence of a violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in effect at the time of the conduct in question."
The supplements Glaus purchased were reportedly obtained through the New Hope Health Center in California, which advertises the sale of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone on its Web site. HGH was banned by baseball in 2005, when the drug policy was expanded, and punitive penalties went into effect for a player testing positive for the first time.
The prescription reportedly obtained by Glaus was then sent through Orlando, Fla.-based Signature Pharmacy, which has been targeted by Albany County (N.Y.) prosecutors as part of their steroids investigation. A release by MLB on Thursday indicated that other open investigations by the Commissioner's Office should be completed soon.
Glaus declined comment after the SI.com report came out, and a team official said he wasn't available for comment on Thursday.
In September, Glaus met with Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi privately to discuss the matter, and he later sat down with MLB officials to discuss the matter. Ricciardi openly supported Glaus after the report came out and said he felt the player's explanation was adequate.
"That conversation was really private between him and I," Ricciardi said in September. "I'm not going to really share anything with you guys, but I felt like what he told me is fine. It's not my place to pass judgment.
"We just wanted to let him know that we're here for him and we support him. He's a Blue Jay, and we're not going to turn our back on him because of allegations."
Beyond the Blue Jays, several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the lengthy, multimillion-dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.
Clemens, who pitched for the Jays from 1997-98 and is currently a free agent, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the Report.
Citing an interview with Canseco, the Report indicated that Clemens inquired about anabolic steroids while he was a member of the Blue Jays in 1998. That June in Toronto, Clemens reportedly asked former Jays strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee about steroids and if McNamee was willing to help inject Clemens.
"Whenever you read something that takes place on Blue Jays turf, you say, 'That's too bad,'" Godfrey said. "I'm disappointed, certainly. But again, I have to balance this by saying these are allegations at this time. I'm sure that the Commissioner's Office will examine these allegations and determine whether they have merit or not."
The players listed above are by no means the only players listed in the Report, but in MLB.com's review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the Report is available for viewing in its entirety here at MLB.com.
"I'm finally pleased at least that the Report is out," Godfrey said. "I think names had to be mentioned, because Sen. Mitchell's integrity was on the line. Sen. Mitchell is a very honorable individual. I've had the opportunity of meeting him on several occasions. I think it was really important, but still, when names are mentioned, it's disappointing."
While the Report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, it also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
The Mitchell Report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.
Godfrey said that he would like to see MLB and the MLBPA come to an agreement on expanded testing for human growth hormone. Currently, HGH can't be detected in urine testing, and blood testing is not permitted.
"Human growth hormone has replaced anabolic steroids," Godfrey said. "We are shutting our eyes to that area and everybody knows it. It's time that we -- both Major League Baseball and the Players Association -- sat down.
"We do medicals at Spring Training. We do blood tests to make sure that players don't have problems in certain areas. But we can't use that blood sample to test for human growth hormone. Does that not sound illogical to any guy on the street? If it sounds illogical to any guy on the street, it's illogical."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.