Former slugger doesn't back off beliefs

Updated: November 25, 2003, 10:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Earlier this year, Jose Canseco estimated that 80 percent of all players took steroids. He sure doesn't believe it's only five to seven percent, as Major League Baseball claims.

Canseco has serious doubts about the accuracy of baseball's testing and procedures involved in this season's baseball steroid tests, he told The Boston Globe in a story published Sunday.

"I just want to know how [the tests] were performed," Canseco told The Globe from Miami, where he currently is under house arrest for a steroid-related probation violation. "If it was done randomly, on a schedule? How was it structured? Who administered it? I don't believe it. I don't think it was accurate ... I think those tests can be completely manipulated."

In the story, Canseco also reiterated his belief that he has been blackballed from baseball and that he was falsely charged with violating his probation after a urine sample was misprocessed by a testing laboratory. Canseco spent more than two months in jail this summer after testing positive.

"That was very depressing," Canseco said of his jail time. "I lost the opportunity to be with my daughter after being illegally arrested and accused."

Despite his own steroid-related legal and public image problems, Canseco maintains that steroids are improperly stigmatized in today's society. Canseco referred to steroid use in sports as "part of the evolution" and suggested that players who quit using steroids now will take "years to recover" in terms of statistical performance.

"Steroids aren't as bad as some people make them out to be," he told The Globe. "Steroids, if used the right way with human growth hormones, can have a profound effect on your life. We're supposed to be built to live 120-130 years, and a combination of steroids and human growth hormones, if taken properly, can add 30 years to your life."