Three O's Players Deny Steroid Use
Monday, October 2, 2006
The Baltimore Orioles issued a statement of support yesterday for their three players accused of using anabolic steroids by a former major league pitcher as the players -- Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons -- denied the charges.
Houston Astros pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, who were accused of performance-enhancing drug use by former reliever Jason Grimsley in a federal affidavit, also rebutted the charges a day after the Los Angeles Times revealed the identities of the players Grimsley accused.
The players' names had been blacked out in the affidavit that was filed in federal court in May.
Grimsley, who played for the Orioles, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and other teams, admitted in the search-warrant affidavit to using anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and amphetamines. In the affidavit, he also implicated six players and an athletic trainer whose names had been unconfirmed until the Times report.
After the affidavit became public, Grimsley was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball and released by the Diamondbacks.
Grimsley also named retired Oriole David Segui, who previously acknowledged that his name was among those in the document. Segui told ESPN in June that he had received a prescription for human growth hormone because of naturally low levels. The trainer was Brian McNamee, formerly a team trainer for the Yankees and now the personal trainer for Clemens and Pettitte, according to the Times.
Grimsley played with Tejada, Roberts and Gibbons in 2005 and Clemens and Pettitte in 1999 and 2000 when he was with the Yankees. The charges against Clemens have received particular emphasis because Clemens, 44, has become the sport's measuring stick for fitness, durability and toughness.
"I just think it's incredibly dangerous to sit out there and just throw names out there," Clemens said yesterday before the Astros played in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press. "I haven't seen [the report], nor do I need to see it."
"I've been tested plenty of times. My physicals I've taken, they have taken my blood work. I have passed every test. Again, I just find it amazing that you can throw anybody out there."
Pettitte said he had a "great relationship" with Grimsley and was "stunned" by the report, according to the AP.
"I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball," Pettitte said. "I don't know what else to say except to say it's embarrassing my name would be out there."
Their agent, Randy Hendricks, noted that Grimsley has said through his attorney that he did not disclose names to federal investigators.
"Roger and Andy deny using performance enhancing drugs," Hendricks said in an e-mail. "Roger passed Olympic-standard blood testing for the World Baseball Classic this year. . . . He is a phenomenal baseball player who does not deserve to have his name bandied about in the public domain based upon an affidavit of an investigative agent to get a search warrant. Roger and Andy never worked out with Grimsley and Grimsley would have no personal knowledge of anything they did."
Grimsley said Clemens and Pettitte "used athletic performance-enhancing drugs" and Roberts, Gibbons and Tejada "took anabolic steroids," according to the affidavit signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, the Times reported. The newspaper said it was allowed to view the unredacted version by someone with "authorized access" to it.
"What can I do? I spent one morning last year with Grimsley," Tejada said yesterday before the Orioles played at Boston, according to the AP. "I mean, I already got thrown under the bus with [Rafael] Palmeiro. No, I don't worry about that."
The night before, Tejada told the Baltimore Sun: "I know that I've never had a problem with that. I know that I've never used that and I know I am clean."
Gibbons told the Sun he has never failed a drug test.
"And I am not going to dignify these claims and accusations with any further response," he said.
"Our players have addressed the accusations quite strongly and we support them," Orioles Vice President of Player Personnel Mike Flanagan said in a statement. "We have not seen the affidavit and therefore will not comment on it further."