By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; 10:29 PM
-- Power-hitting outfielder Jose Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003-05, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Former major leaguers Matt Williams and Ismael Valdez also purchased performance-enhancing drugs, in 2002, from a Florida anti-aging clinic that was raided in February as part of an investigation by the Albany, N.Y., district attorney into alleged illegal drug sales, the newspaper said.
Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003. HGH was banned in January 2005.
The Chronicle received details of the players' orders in records from a source the newspaper didn't identify. Those records contained shipping and purchase orders, payment information, Social Security numbers and customers' birthdates, the paper said.
A report by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell into the use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball is expected before the end of the year. An unidentified active player has agreed to speak with Mitchell in the next few weeks, SI.com reported Tuesday. The Yankees' Jason Giambi, who was pressured by commissioner Bud Selig, is the only active player known to have spoken with Mitchell, a director of the Boston Red Sox.
Guillen, 31, spent last season with the Seattle Mariners, batting .290 with 23 homers and 99 RBIs. He split the 2003 season between Cincinnati and Oakland, and the Chronicle said business records indicate he had some of the drugs shipped to the Oakland Coliseum that year. He played for the Anaheim Angels in 2004 and Washington Nationals in 2005. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach him via cell phone were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Last week, the Mariners declined their $9 million option on Guillen's contract for next season. He, in turn, declined his $5 million option, and will receive a $500,000 buyout. Guillen can now file for free agency.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong told the AP the team remains interested in keeping Guillen.
"We thought he was an outstanding teammate. We were happy to have him. We know nothing about what happened in the past," Armstrong said. "I continue to admire and respect him greatly.
"Before I feel anything negative about Jose, I need to see something tangible or real."
Armstrong also said if Guillen exercises his option, the Mariners would need to investigate the allegations.
"I for sure would have to talk to Jose about this," Armstrong said.
Guillen just completed his 11th season in the majors. Records show he ordered more than $19,000 worth of drugs _ three kinds of human growth hormone, two types of testosterone and the steroids stanozolol and nandrolone _ from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between May 2002 and June 2005, the Chronicle said.
Williams was a five-time All-Star during his 17-year major league career with San Francisco, Cleveland and Arizona. He was playing for the Diamondbacks in 2002 when records indicate he purchased $11,600 worth of growth hormone, steroids and other drugs, the Chronicle reported.
Williams' final season in the majors was 2003.
The Chronicle reported that Williams, in an interview Monday, said a doctor advised him to try growth hormone to heal a severe ankle injury he sustained during spring training in 2002.
Williams is now a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks.
"We obviously just learned of this," team president Derrick Hall said in a statement Tuesday. "Matt informed us that a doctor recommended its use to help heal his ankle injury. It was a substance that he was not familiar with at the time, and according to him, did not like its effects after sampling. He discontinued the use of it and retired the next season.
"Matt is a stand-up guy, who without hesitation, admitted using it and not liking it. There is no doubt in our minds that Matt would decline such a recommendation today, knowing what we all know about enhancing substances."
Valdez pitched for seven teams during a 12-year career that ended in 2005. The newspaper said records show he purchased $11,300 worth of performance-enhancing drugs in 2002 after he was traded from Texas to Seattle.
The Chronicle said Valdez's former agent did not return an e-mail message or phone calls.
Records indicate that some prescriptions for the three players were not written by a physician, but by a Florida dentist whose license later was suspended for fraud and incompetence, the newspaper reported.
Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd, Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus, Baltimore outfielder Jay Gibbons and New York Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis are other current players who reportedly received performance-enhancing drugs in recent years.
The Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, the clinic where Byrd made his alleged purchases, is part of a network of anti-aging clinics and online pharmacies targeted by the Albany, N.Y., district attorney for alleged illegal sales of steroids and growth hormone.