No current Pirates in Mitchell Report
Findings include list of players, recommendations for sport
PITTSBURGH -- The highly anticipated Mitchell Report, which was made public on Thursday afternoon, identified 89 former and current Major League players who have been linked to use of performance-enhancing drugs. None of those 89 players are current Pirates players.
Speaking from the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, former Sen. George Mitchell said that, according to his findings, all 30 Major League teams had players who were involved in using performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and human growth hormones.
"I was not surprised to see that the report did not include any current Pirate players as having used steroids," said Pirates president Frank Coonelly, who came to the Pirates after working as the chief labor counsel for the Commissioner's Office. "The Pirates provided full cooperation to Senator Mitchell and his investigative team. We appreciate the Senator's exhaustive work and his thoughtful recommendations."
While no current members of the Pittsburgh club were listed in the report, 11 former Pirates players were named.
Three of those players -- Barry Bonds, Armando Rios and Benito Santiago -- were implicated in the BALCO case. According to the report, after a raid on BALCO offices in 2003, BALCO founder Victor Conte said that he sold a cream that contained a combination of testosterone and epitestosterone to five Major League players, including Bonds and Rios.
Both Rios and Santiago also were connected to the BALCO investigation through Greg Anderson, who claims to have given both HGH. Bonds and Santiago were members of the Giants at that time. Rios was with the Giants from 1998-2001 before being traded to Pittsburgh during the 2001 season. He spent the remainder of that season and 2002 with the Pirates.
Former Pirate Gary Matthews Jr., who played part of the 2001 season in Pittsburgh, and Jose Guillen are two of 16 players linked to a pharmacy investigation in Albany, New York.
Major League Baseball recently handed down a 15-game suspension to Guillen, who is reported to have used HGH in 2005, after the drug had already been banned. Matthews did not receive a suspension due to insufficient evidence.
The lengthiest list of Major League players connected to the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Mitchell came in Section VIII of the report. In the 96 pages of this section, Kirk Radomski, a Mets bat boy, equipment manager and clubhouse attendant from 1985-95, and trainer Brian McNamee named players to whom they had provided steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Former Pirates connected to Radomski in this section include:
Tim Laker: Laker, who spent part of the 1998 and 1999 seasons with the Pirates, acknowledged making four separate transactions with Radomski to purchase steroids. According to Laker, who was interviewed directly by Mitchell for the report, the last of those deals came in 1999 when, as a member of the Pirates, he purchased between $1,000 and $2,000 worth of steroids while Pittsburgh was playing a series against the Mets in New York.
Jose Manzanillo: Manzanillo pitched in Pittsburgh from 2000-2002. According to the report, Radomski directly injected Manzanillo with steroids while the reliever was a member of the Mets. Manzanillo is also cited as having been given anti-inflammatory medication by Jose Cervantes while playing for the Pirates. Cervantes told Mitchell that he purchased drugs across the border in Mexico and sold them to Major League players, including Manzanillo. Manzanillo, through his lawyer, refuted the claim that he had purchased any medication from Cervantes.
Denny Neagle: Neagle played for the Pirates from 1992 until he was traded to Atlanta midway through the 1996 season. According to the report, Neagle's first interactions with Radomski came after Neagle's tenure with the Pirates. Neagle is implicated for having purchased both HGH and steroids from Radomski beginning in 2000.
Ron Villone: Villone pitched just one season for the Pirates, that being in 2002. Radomski told Mitchell that three separate times he sold Villone two kits of HGH.
Kevin Young: Young spent all but one season of his 12-year career playing for the Pirates. According to the report, Radomski claims to have first met with Young prior to the 2001 season where Radomski sold him "one or two kits" of HGH. The report also implicates Young for purchasing five or six more kits of HGH in 2003.
Jason Christiansen: Christiansen, who pitched for the Pirates from 1995-2000, is reported to have met Radomski for the first time in 2002. Radomski told Mitchell that Christiansen made just one purchase of HGH.
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, 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 lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the report, but in MLB.com's first, quick review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but 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.
"The Pirates have fully supported the Commissioner's efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game," Coonelly said. "We understand the seriousness of this issue, not only for our organization and our players, but for the entire game of professional baseball. The use of performance-enhancing substances goes to the core of the integrity of the game and cannot be tolerated."
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.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.