Report follows allegations in Canseco's book
NEW YORK -- An FBI agent says federal investigators warned Major League Baseball about 10 years ago that some of its players were using steroids, but baseball executives failed to act on the information, the Daily News reported.
In Tuesday's editions, the Daily News reported that a special agent in Ann Arbor, Mich., told baseball security chief Kevin Hallinan that Jose Canseco and other players were using illegal anabolic steroids.
"I alerted Major League Baseball back in the time when we had a case, that Canseco was a heavy user and that they should be aware of it," Special Agent Greg Stejskal told the Daily News. "I spoke to the people in their security office, Hallinan was one of the people I spoke to."
|“||There's very little question the use of steroids was very widespread in baseball. And Major League Baseball, in effect, they didn't sanction it, but they certainly looked the other way. ”|
|— Special Agent Greg Stejskal|
Stejskal also told the newspaper there wasn't much baseball could do at the time since MLB and the players' union didn't have a steroid testing program or disciplinary actions in place until 2002.
Baseball officials denied they were told of steroid use, and Hallinan told the Daily News, "It did not happen. Not with this guy, not with anyone else."
The agent told the paper that the FBI's investigation in the 1990s centered in Michigan and dealt with weightlifters and bodybuilders, but that the probe spread to California, Florida, Canada and Mexico.
"There's very little question the use of steroids was very widespread in baseball," Stejskal told the newspaper. "And Major League Baseball, in effect, they didn't sanction it, but they certainly looked the other way."
The report comes just after the release of Canseco's book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big," in which he details his steroid use and accuses several former teammates of using them, too.
Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada denied the book's allegations.
"Any inference made by Jose Canseco that I used steroids is completely false. I barely knew Jose during his career, so it is ridiculous for him to suggest we ever had discussions regarding their use. I work very hard to keep in shape and any suggestion that I use steroids, or any banned substance, is insulting and not worth discussing further."
Tejada was called up and made his major league debut with Oakland on August 27, 1997, the same day Canseco went on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. Canseco did not return to the A's in 1998.
MLB recently adopted a tougher steroid-testing program that will suspend first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly test players year-round. The agreement is still being drafted by lawyers for owners and players, and an MLB official said that he believed that the language will be ready by March 1.
Last week, Yankees star Jason Giambi made his first public comments since it was reported he told a federal grand jury in 2003 that he took steroids for at least three seasons.
"When I went into that grand jury, I told the truth," he said.
The New York Times reported that in December 2001, when the Yankees were drawing up Giambi's free-agent contract, they included a reference to steroid use in an initial draft. The Times said agent Arn Tellem asked that all references to steroids be dropped, and that the Yankees agreed.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.