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Wednesday 20, Oct 2010

  Report on steroids cites “collective failure”

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Report on steroids cites collective failureA blistering report by former senator George J Mitchell has tied 89 Major League Baseball players, including Roger Clemens, to the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.

This report made use of informant testimony and supporting documents for offering a richly detailed portrait of what Mr. Mitchell described as “baseball’s steroids era.”

Mitchell said there was a collective failure for recognizing the issue as it emerged and recommended that players on the list not be disciplined but baseball should “look ahead to the future” and establish stringent testing.

Friday 28, Nov 2008

  George Mitchell thinks his report reduced usage of PEDs in baseball

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mitchell_steroid_reportBy next month, the Mitchell Report will be a year old.

In his interview with AP, George J. Mitchell, the former Democratic senator who headed the investigation on the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in baseball, thinks something positive came out of that inquiry. He said doping in the Major League decreased as a result of the report.

“The impression I get is that it’s had a significant impact of reducing usage, although that still remains very difficult to measure with any complete precision,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell, who now chairs an international law firm and works as the chancellor to a university in Northern Ireland, has some regrets when it comes to the report’s impact on the lives of the people who got implicated in the drug scandal.

“Obviously as a human being, I regret and don’t take pleasure in someone else’s misfortune, whether I have any relationship to it or not,” Mitchell said. “What we did was to try to meet the obligation which we’d undertaken, and we did so. Each player involved made his decision on how to respond.”

The 20-month and 409-page investigative report have named 89 players in all, including Roger Clemens whom the AP article tagged as “the report’s biggest loser”.

Headed to the Hall of Fame with 354 wins before the Mitchell Report, his Cooperstown chances deteriorated when Mitchell made public McNamee’s allegations that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner had used steroids and human growth hormone before they were banned. It led to a high-profile congressional hearing in February in which McNamee accused Clemens’ wife, Debbie, of using HGH, and the Department of Justice was asked to investigate whether the pitcher lied when he denied McNamee’s account.

In addition, Clemens sued McNamee for defamation, a case still in its early stages. In the fallout from the suit, the New York Daily News reported Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was 15. Clemens denied having an affair with a 15-year-old but didn’t specifically address whether he had a romance with McCready.

The former Majority Leader acknowledged that there still so much that needs to be done to eradicate use of PEDs in the sport.

“I would be very doubtful that it is completely clean in the sense nobody is using,” he said. “You don’t know whether this is a temporary response because of the attention it’s gotten and whether over time it will begin to resume an increase. I think that’s unlikely given the aggressive nature of the response, but it’s something you have to be continuously concerned about.”

“The most important thing is to create an attitude which reflects the awareness that this is a dynamic ongoing program,” he said. “You can never reach the stage where you can say, we solved it, that’s it. You may have solved this drug, but there’s a lot of money involved and there are a lot of people who are seeking to make some of that money by creating new illegal drugs. And so you have to have a constant attention, constant focus, constant effort.”