Indians have ties to Mitchell Report
Team fully supports efforts to rid game of banned substances
CLEVELAND -- Names have been named, and the Indians saw current and former members of their organization mentioned in former Sen. George Mitchell's landmark report on performance-enhancing substances in baseball.The report, which was unveiled to the public Thursday afternoon, summarizes previously reported information on Tribe starter Paul Byrd's purchase of human-growth hormones and unveils new information about roving Minor League catching instructor Tim Laker's steroid use. Other than that, the 311-page report has no mention of any players who currently comprise the Indians' roster. Bud Selig has vowed to follow Mitchell's suggestions for further improving MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, and, in a statement released by the Indians, team president Paul Dolan said he supports the Commissioner's response. "Our organization has been committed to eliminating the use of performance-enhancing substances from the game of baseball," Dolan said. "We have fully supported the adoption and implementation of the Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, and will continue to educate our players of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances." General manager Mark Shapiro referred interview requests to Dolan's statement and offered no further comment. By and large, the Players Association did not cooperate with Mitchell's 21-month investigation. Tribe player representative Casey Blake, however, did not seem to take issue with the report when reached for comment. "I figured the names were going to come out sooner or later," Blake said. "It's disappointing, you know. It's tough for me to sit here and say that names shouldn't have been mentioned or the investigation shouldn't have taken place, because I'm sure the fans and the public want to know if somebody is not playing by the rules." Byrd and his agent, Bo McKinnis, did not return calls seeking comment on the report, which merely gave a rundown of a previous San Francisco Chronicle report that Byrd had bought nearly $25,000 worth of human-growth hormone and syringes from a Florida anti-aging clinic. That Chronicle report surfaced the day the Indians played Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox. Before that game, Byrd told reporters he took the drugs to treat a tumor on his pituitary gland. He has not spoken publicly on the matter since. It is believed that Byrd has been interviewed by MLB about his HGH use, though his case remains open.
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.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.