|Author||George J. Mitchell|
|Country||United States of America|
|Subject(s)||Use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball|
|Publisher||Office of the Commissioner of Baseball|
|Released||December 13 2007|
|Media type||Paperback, Internet|
The Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball, known as the "Mitchell Report", is the result of former United States Senator George J. Mitchell's investigation into the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in Major League Baseball (MLB). The 409-page report, released on December 13, 2007, covers the history of the use of illegal performance enhancing substances by players and the effectiveness of the MLB drug testing program. It also provides Senator Mitchell's recommendations regarding the handling of past illegal drug use and future prevention practices. The report names 89 Major League Baseball players who are alleged to have used steroids or drugs.
George Mitchell, a former United States senator and prosecutor, was appointed by baseball commissioner Bud Selig on March 30 2006 to investigate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MLB. Mitchell was appointed during a time of controversy over the book Game of Shadows, which chronicles alleged extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs, including several different types of steroids and growth hormone by Barry Bonds. Bud Selig decided to initiate the process of investigating the illegal use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs after reading Game of Shadows. The appointment was made after several influential members of the US Congress made negative comments about the effectiveness and honesty of MLB anti-performance enhancing drugs policies. The 409-page report was released on December 13, 2007.
Mitchell reports that the Players Association was "largely uncooperative". According to Mitchell, the Players Association effectively discouraged players from cooperating with the investigation. In a memorandum to players, the Players Association advised, "...while Senator Mitchell pledges in his memo that he will honor any player request for confidentiality in his report, he does not pledge, because he cannot pledge, that any information you provide will actually remain confidential and not be disclosed without your consent. For example, Senator Mitchell cannot promise that information you disclose will not be given to a federal or state prosecutor, a Congressional committee, or even turned over in a private lawsuit in response to a request or a subpoena (a legally enforceable order)."
Only two active players who were interviewed were named in the report. Frank Thomas was one of five players who were interviewed because of their public statements on the issue, but was the only one of the five willing to be mentioned by name. Also interviewed was admitted steroid user Jason Giambi. Over 700 people were interviewed during the investigation. Of 500 former players contacted, 68 agreed to be interviewed, and three others had interviews arranged by law enforcement. Interviews with current or former club officials, managers, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers, or resident security agents accounted for another 550 interviews. The teams and the Commissioner's Office supplied Mitchell with more than 115,000 pages of documents and 2,000 electronic documents.
- Main article: Kirk Radomski
One of the witnesses, Kirk Radomski, a former New York Mets clubhouse employee, "provided substantial information about the distribution of performance enhancing substances." In April 2007, Radomski pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of a variety of substances. Many of the players named in the report were indicated to be clients of Radomski.
Mitchell reported that during the random testing in 2003, 5 to 7 percent of players tested positive for steroid use. According to the report, after mandatory random testing began in 2004, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) became the substance of choice among players, as it is not detectable in tests. Also, it was noted that at least one player from each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams was involved in the alleged violations.
Players listed in the reportEdit
In all, 89 former and current major-league players are named in the report. Among the many players implicated in the report were several well-known players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, and Eric Gagné.
Mitchell expressed his hope that readers of the report will look past the players' names that are included in the report and focus on the conclusions he reached during his investigation. Mitchell presents his conclusions in five sections.
- Major League Baseball's 2002 response to steroid use resulted in players switching from detectable steroids to undetectable human growth hormone.
- Players that use performance enhancing substances are legally and ethically "wrong."
- While players that use illegal substances are responsible for their actions, that responsibility is shared by the entire baseball community for failing to recognize the problem sooner.
- An exhaustive investigation attempting to identify every player that has used illegal substances would not be beneficial.
- Major League Baseball should adopt the recommendations of the report as a first step in eliminating the use of illegal substances.
After the report was released, Selig held his own press conference at 4:30 pm EST at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. In the press conference, Selig said regarding Mitchell's report, "His report is a call to action. And I will act." Selig indicated that it is possible that some of the players named in the report may face disciplinary actions. "Discipline of players and others identified in this report will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If warranted, those decisions will be made swiftly," said Selig.
Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Player's Association, held his news conference at 6:00 pm EST December 13 2007. Fehr expressed his disappointment that the Union was not given a chance to read the report beforehand. He accepted some responsibility for the steroid problems but expressed concern for how the league would treat the players named in the report.
Roger Clemens has been deemed the most standout name of the list. The 7-time Cy Young winner has yet to respond to the allegations, but his attorney has denied that Clemens ever used steroids or HGH.
- Banned substances in baseball
- List of Major League Baseball players named in the Mitchell Report
- List of Major League Baseball players suspended for performance-enhancing drugs
- ↑ Barry M. Bloom. "Mitchell Report to be released today", MLB.com, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Duff Wilson. "Baseball Braces for Steroid Report From Mitchell", The New York Times, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Mitchell Report (PDF) 2. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Many high-profile names will make Mitchell Report", Newsday, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Mitchell Report (PDF) SR7. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Mitchell Report (PDF) B9-B10. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Mitchell Report (PDF) SR6. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Mitchell Report (PDF) 146. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Mitchell Report (PDF) SR2. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ "Mitchell report: Baseball slow to react to players' steroid use", ESPN.com, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Selig: Report is a 'call to action'", MLB.com, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Mitchell Report (PDF) 310–311. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Phil Rogers (2007-12-12). Mitchell report will assess the damage done. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ "Sources: Players, owners to share blame in Mitchell report", espn.com, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ "Clemens, Pettitte named in baseball steroid report", CNN, 2007-12-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
- ↑ Ian Browne (2007-12-14). Fehr wants time to review Report. mlb.com. Retrieved on 2007-12-14.