Dodgers cooperate with Mitchell team
Comprehensive document lists several former players
LOS ANGELES -- No current Dodgers were named in the Mitchell Report that was released on Thursday, but 16 past Dodgers were named as having obtained performance-enhancing substances.The Mitchell Report claims catcher Paul Lo Duca paid former Mets batboy Kirk Radomski three checks for a total of $9,600 to purchase kits of human growth hormone. One of the checks was written while Lo Duca was a Dodger. Information seized from and provided by Radomski was instrumental in compiling the report. According to the report, Lo Duca was referred to Radomski by teammate Todd Hundley, a former Met. The report said Lo Duca, who recently signed with Washington, not only purchased performance-enhancing substances from the former Mets batboy and clubhouse attendant, but referred teammates Eric Gagne, Kevin Brown, Matt Herges and Adam Riggs so they could also make purchases. Brown, according to the report, overnighted cash in amounts as high as $10,000 to purchase human growth hormone while with the Dodgers. Radomski said Gagne was sent two shipments of human growth hormone, one paid for by Lo Duca and one in cash sent by FedEx. One shipment went to Dodger Stadium. Lo Duca's name also came up when former Dodgers Minor League strength and conditioning coach Todd Seyler was interviewed. He told of an incident when five players with the Albuquerque Dukes -- Lo Duca, Herges, Jeff Williams, Mike Judd and Ricky Stone -- injected themselves in 1999, expecting to be called up to the Major Leagues some time that season and wanting to be in "peak physical condition" when that happened. The report also detailed notes from meetings of the Dodgers' baseball operations department discussing the potential acquisition or retention of players and the likelihood those players were using performance-enhancing substances. Those conversations involved Lo Duca, who was traded the following year; Brown, who was traded two months later; Gagne; and Bobby Estellela, a free agent who was not signed. The report also details a similar dialogue by Boston Red Sox officials regarding Gagne. Other former Dodgers named as purchasers of performance-enhancing substances are Ricky Bones, Chris Donnels, F.P. Santangelo, Phil Hiatt, Larry Bigbie, Ismael Valdes and Darren Holmes. "As the steward of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I am steadfast in the belief that performance-enhancing drugs have no place in baseball," said Frank McCourt, Dodgers owner and chairman. "The Dodgers have supported and fully cooperated with this investigation, initiated by the Commissioner and conducted by Senator Mitchell. We wholeheartedly support Commissioner Selig's efforts to rid the game of these substances and we commend Senator Mitchell on a thorough investigation. Our commitment to our fans during our stewardship has been and always will be to do everything in our power to maintain the game's integrity. "With that said, I have not had the chance to read the report in its entirety and once I am able to do so, I'll be willing to share any further thoughts."
The report also details current Dodgers trainer Stan Conte's concern over the access and conduct of Barry Bonds' personal trainers when Conte was the San Francisco Giants' trainer. Conte was interviewed by Mitchell and said he alerted Giants management about his concerns.Radomski also produced a canceled check of Gary Bennett for the purchase of human growth hormone. Bennett is currently a free agent being considered by the Dodgers for the backup catcher position. The findings of former Sen. George Mitchell's report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball were released at 11 a.m. PT Thursday.
Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.
Free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros and Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts. The entire report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.
While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report 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.
Mitchell's 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.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.