Baseball report: Steroid-use widespread

12/13/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Major League Baseball is taking another blow with the release of a report by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell on performance enhancing drugs in baseball.

But the report acknowledges that it is not definitive.

A former prosecutor and senator from Maine, Mitchell was appointed by Commissioner Bud Selig to conduct the investigation in March 2006, shortly after the release of the book, Game of Shadows, which documented the use of steroids by the game’s biggest star, Barry Bonds, who is now under indictment for allegedly lying to a grand jury about his use of such drugs.

Baseball did nothing about rumors for years about players using steroids, until a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2002 said baseball has become a "pharmacological trade show."

The league instituted random testing. It enhanced the penalties for those found dirty in 2005, after a Congressional hearing was held that embarrassed slugger Mark McGwire, who refused to discuss his past.

Mitchell said baseball has been aware of the problem, and ignored it.

One of the owners involved in the game when the steroid era began flourishing was President Bush, who owned the Texas Rangers, and was mentioned in Jose Canseco’s 2005 expose, Juiced. But White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said he saw no signs of such problems when he was with the Rangers.

Dave Zirin is a contributor to Sports, The Nation magazine, and the author of the book, Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Promise and Politics of Sports. WMNF asked his thoughts on the much anticipated $20 million dollars and 21 months to produce the report.

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