Report Depicts the Magnitude of Doping in Baseball

December 14, 2007 07:15 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell releases the findings of a 20-month investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs; some commentators remain skeptical about the inquiry's methodology.

30-Second Summary

On Dec. 13, 2007, Mitchell released a detailed 409-page report identifying 86 professional baseball players as having used performance-enhancing drugs.

The former senator blames “everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades” for condoning what he calls “baseball’s steroids era.” He charges owners with being preoccupied by “economic issues,” and writes that Selig and the players’ union looked the other way as drug use became “widespread.”

Despite the report’s league-wide censures, much of the media attention has focused on the roster of athletes it presents.

Among the most well-known players are Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, David Justice and Roger Clemens.

Justice has vehemently denied the allegations, and Clemens’ lawyer told reporters that the charges amounted to “slander” because they lack “tangible evidence.”

Similar questions about the relevancy of the report’s evidence have already emerged in the press.

According to ESPN writer Jayson Stark, “Two attorneys who were surveyed Thursday, both of whom now work in the sports world, say they're extremely dubious that the allegations against Clemens would hold up in court. Not even in a civil case.”
Legal action of that order appears unlikely, because the reports advises Selig to grant most of the players it identifies amnesty. Nonetheless, the Commissioner said he has yet to decide whether suspensions should be imposed.

It remains unclear what, if any, effect this ordeal will have on professional baseball in the future, but the affair has succeeded in putting pressure on the league to act. As Selig himself said, “I have to do something … And I think the sport will be better off.”

Headline Links: The Mitchell Report

Analysis: Parsing the report

Background: BALCO and beyond

Reactions: Canseco looks for A-Rod, Justice denies allegations and Clemens’ lawyer cries foul

Opinion: The report’s shortcomings

‘Doping Experts Say Solutions Still May Fall Short’

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