Drug report brings denials from baseball stars

Monday, October 2nd 2006, 8:33 am
By: News On 6

Miguel Tejada is getting an unpleasant sense of deja vu. He says he already was smeared by one scandal and it looks like it's happening again.

The Baltimore Orioles' shortstop was named in a federal agent's affidavit, the Los Angeles Times reported, that said pitcher Jason Grimsley had accused five players of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The other players cited were premier pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, both of the Houston Astros, and two of Tejada's teammates, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons, the Times said.

``What can I do?'' Tejada, the 2002 American League MVP, said Sunday from Boston. ``I spent one morning last year with Grimsley. I mean, I already got thrown under the bus with Palmeiro. No, I don't worry about that.''

Rafael Palmeiro was suspended last season for using steroids and suggested the positive test may have been the result of a vitamin B-12 shot Tejada gave him. Tejada insisted then that he did nothing wrong.

Grimsley, who once played with Clemens and Pettitte on the New York Yankees, is now out of baseball. The reliever has admitted using a variety of banned substances and was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball.

``I just think it's incredibly dangerous to sit out there and just throw names out there,'' Clemens said Sunday before the Astros played in Atlanta on the final day of the regular season. ``I haven't seen (the report), nor do I need to see it.''

``For the people involved, it is very dangerous and malicious and reckless on the part of somebody ... to put something out there with somebody else's writing on it,'' he added.

Clemens said he has been tested ``plenty of times'' and passed every one.

Pettitte was ``stunned'' by the report.

``I played with Grimsley for a couple of years in New York and had a great relationship with him,'' the pitcher said before the Astros' game.

``I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don't know what else to say except to say it's embarrassing my name would be out there,'' he said.

In June, federal agents searched Grimsley's home in Arizona after the pitcher admitted using human growth hormone, steroids and amphetamines. Grimsley later was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In a search warrant affidavit signed by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, Novitzky said Grimsley identified other players who had used drugs, the Times reported.

Those names were blacked out when the document was released, but the Times said an unidentified source with access to an uncensored version allowed the newspaper to see it. The Times said a second source who had identified the other players provided additional details about the document.

``As for Jason Grimsley's affidavit, we have no information regarding how it was obtained or its accuracy,'' MLB spokesman Richard Levin said Sunday.

All major league players are tested at least twice a year for banned drugs. There is no test for HGH, but it is banned by the sport. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was hired by MLB to investigate steroids in baseball.

According to the affidavit, the Times said, Grimsley told investigators Clemens and Pettitte ``used athletic performance-enhancing drugs.''

Houston teammate Lance Berkman said he would be startled to find either of the two pitchers involved. He called the matter ``irresponsible'' and ``unfortunate.''

``You just have to be very, very careful when you make accusations like that,'' he said. ``You better be right about it.''

The affidavit also alleged Grimsley told federal agents that Roberts, Gibbons and Tejada, all with the Orioles, ``took anabolic steroids.''

Gibbons has said he has passed every test administered by baseball.

``I'm as shocked as anybody else,'' he said.

Roberts derided the accusations as ``ridiculous.''

``We've had steroid testing, and I've taken all the tests,'' he told The (Baltimore) Sun. ``There is no point in getting into verbal wars.''

Novitzky also was the lead investigator in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative probe. Two BALCO officials and Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, served jail time after guilty pleas in that investigation.

Grimsley has complained to friends that federal agents attributed statements to him that he did not make, the Times said.

Randy Hendricks, who represents Clemens and Pettitte, told The Associated Press he questions the conduct of the federal agents.

``I've grown weary of having to defend (Clemens) from innuendo and conjecture about every six months for the last several years when he's complied with all of the rules and regulations,'' Hendricks said. ``Andy is just surprised and stunned and has no knowledge of any such activity.''

Giants manager Felipe Alou was asked how he thinks Clemens will be treated compared to Bonds.

``I've got to say, Rockets are hard to catch,'' he said. ``I was shocked to see those names on television this morning. Some big names. I said, 'Here we go again.'''