Time frame too tough to prove

Updated: August 26, 2003, 1:35 AM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Jose Canseco was released from jail Monday after prosecutors dropped charges alleging the former baseball star violated his probation by taking steroids.

Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague said the state could not determine when Canseco took the muscle-enhancing drug because of conflicting expert testimony on how long it would stay in his system.

Canseco had been behind bars since June 20, when probation officials said he tested positive for steroids. He has denied any drug use while on probation.

"It was a very painful, stressful situation for my daughter, my family and myself,'' Canseco said Monday. "It feels good to be out.''

Canseco, 39, could have faced up to 15 years in state prison.

The 1988 American League MVP has been on probation since November, when he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery for a 2001 nightclub fight with two tourists. His probation is scheduled to end in March 2004.

Canseco spent 30 days in jail and was sentenced to house arrest earlier this year because he took a trip to California without court permission and didn't meet other probation terms. He says he made the trip because he wanted to reconcile with his ex-wife and 6-year-old daughter.

Canseco helped lead the Oakland Athletics to three straight World Series appearances from 1988-90. Oakland won the 1989 series.

He hit 462 home runs in his major league career, the 26th-best in history. He retired in May 2002 after 1,887 games with seven teams, finishing his career with a .266 batting average, 1,407 RBI and 200 stolen bases.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Canseco has admitted using steroids during his baseball career.

Canseco's twin brother, Ozzie, who briefly played in the majors, was also sentenced to probation stemming from the nightclub scuffle in Miami Beach.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press