Steroid affidavit unsealed
Former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley accused baseball players Jose Canseco, Lenny Dykstra, Glenallen Hill and Geronimo Berroa of using steroids, according to a federal affidavit that was unsealed Thursday, 18 months after the document was first released with players’ names blacked out.
Grimsley, a reliever who last pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, also named Chuck Knoblauch as a human growth hormone user, and accused former teammates David Segui and Allen Watson of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The unsealed affidavit contradicts a story The Times published Oct. 1, 2006. Citing anonymous sources, including a Grimsley confidant and an individual “with authorized access to [the] unredacted affidavit,” The Times’ story said Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts, Jay Gibbons, Miguel Tejada and Segui and strength coach Brian McNamee were named in the document. In fact, Clemens, Pettitte, Gibbons and Roberts were not named. Also, The Times’ report said Grimsley alleged that Tejada used anabolic steroids. The only mention of Tejada in the affidavit was a conversation he had with teammates about baseball’s ban on amphetamines.
The day after the story ran, Kevin Ryan, then the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, said it contained “significant inaccuracies.”
The Times made repeated attempts, including earlier this week, to have the government clarify what the inaccuracies were, but spokespersons for the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco declined to elaborate.
After the document was unsealed Thursday and the actual names revealed, Times spokesman Stephan Pechdimaldji said, “We regret our report was inaccurate and will run a correction.”
In granting a government motion to unseal the document, U.S. District Court Judge Edward C. Voss in Phoenix referenced The Times’ story from last year and said he was “compelled to point out what appears to be an example of abusive reporting.
“The [Times] article trumpets the success . . . in ending the ‘months of speculation’ surrounding which major league ballplayers Jason Grimsley named. . . . A review . . . proves that The Times never saw the unredacted affidavit. . . . At best, the article is an example of irresponsible reporting. At worst, the ‘facts’ reported were simply manufactured.”
Voss added: “Unfortunately, The Times’ article still has legs,” a reference to its mention in last week’s 409-page report by former Sen. George Mitchell on performance-enhancing drug use in Major League Baseball. The report named Clemens, Pettitte, Tejada, Roberts, Gibbons and Segui as performance-enhancing drug users and McNamee as a supplier of steroids and HGH.
The affidavit was written in May 2006 by Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, who had interviewed Grimsley to support a search of his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. In the affidavit, Grimsley additionally accused former Baltimore Orioles teammate Rafael Palmeiro of taking amphetamines and said outfielder Pete Incaviglia “always had a supply.”
Another section of the affidavit includes Grimsley’s description of a conversation with former Orioles teammates Palmeiro, Tejada and Sammy Sosa about how they were going to play when Major League Baseball’s ban on amphetamines took effect with testing.
According to the affidavit, Grimsley also said that McNamee, a former Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees strength coach who served as Clemens’ personal trainer until this year, once referred him to an amphetamine source.
According to the Mitchell Report, McNamee told investigators that he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH, and Tejada’s former teammate, Adam Piatt, told investigators he provided steroids to the former American League most valuable player.
Clemens this week denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
“When this grossly inaccurate story broke in October 2006, Roger said it was untrue and the Los Angeles Times chose not to believe him. As the record now clearly proves, Roger was telling the truth then, just as he continues to tell the truth today,” Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement Thursday. “Roger Clemens did not take steroids, and anybody who says he did had better start looking for a hell of a good lawyer.”
Clemens’ agent, Randy Hendricks, told the Associated Press when The Times’ story ran in 2006 that the pitcher had “complied with all the rules and regulations.”
Sosa, Incaviglia, Berroa and Watson were not included in the Mitchell Report.
According to the report, McNamee bought performance-enhancing substances from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski. Radomski admitted to Mitchell that he had supplied the drugs to many players.
Another affidavit by Novitzky, in a case against Radomski in New York, was ordered unsealed Thursday. But Hearst Corp., which led a media coalition including The Times that requested an unredacted copy of the affidavit, had not received a copy as of Thursday night.