Former Mets Employee Sold Steroids To Players
Saturday, April 28, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, April 27 -- A former employee of the New York Mets admitted to distributing a variety of performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, to dozens of Major League Baseball players over a 10-year period beginning in 1995, according to a felony plea agreement filed in federal court Friday.
Kirk J. Radomski, who worked for the Mets from 1985 to '95, agreed to provide information to the group led by former senator George Mitchell that is investigating drug use in Major League Baseball as part of the plea deal accepted at the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California by Judge Susan Illston.
The plea agreement represents a significant blow to MLB, which has been trying to shake free of the drug scandal as slugger Barry Bonds approaches the all-time major league home run record, which he is expected to eclipse this summer. Mitchell had complained that players weren't cooperating with his investigation, so Friday's plea deal could provide a breakthrough.
Radomski, 37, who has worked as a personal trainer since leaving the Mets, admitted supplying drugs to players throughout the league and laundering the proceeds of those sales.
"This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs whose clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players," Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella said. "He operated for approximately a decade."
Radomski began with the Mets as a batboy, Parrella said. The Mets confirmed that Radomski had been a clubhouse assistant with the team. Clubhouse assistants, or "clubbies" as they are known, perform such chores as cleaning the team's uniforms, setting up the postgame spread and fetching anything a player asks for.
Radomski admitted he operated his drug distribution network out of his New York home after he left the Mets, using his baseball connections.
No MLB players were identified in the court filings associated with the case, but names and paragraphs of text were redacted from the federal search warrant affidavit filed in December 2005.
The affidavit listed 23 checks worth nearly $34,000 that federal investigators alleged were deposited by individuals associated with MLB into Radomski's personal bank account between May 2003 and March 2005. The search warrant alleged that a confidential source received five orders of anabolic steroids from Radomski.
A confidential informant told the FBI that Radomski became a major drug source in professional baseball after the steroid bust of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (Balco) in 2003, according to a federal search warrant affidavit filed in connection with the case.
The Balco investigation resulted in five criminal convictions and more than a dozen doping suspensions of track and field athletes. It also led to a perjury investigation of Bonds, and indictments of track coach Trevor Graham and former cyclist Tammy Thomas.
Friday's action suggests that the probe has continued despite the recent ouster of U.S. attorney Kevin Ryan, who oversaw the investigation until this spring when he was among the eight U.S. attorneys nationwide forced to depart.