Canseco regrets naming names in his book about steroids

Updated: October 21, 2008, 7:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jose Canseco, whose book "Juiced," which focused attention on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and led to congressional hearings on the subject, now says he never should have written the book and named names of alleged steroid users.

During the A&E Network's one-hour documentary, "Jose Canseco: The Last Shot," Canseco said he "regrets mentioning players [as steroid users]. I never realized this was going to blow up and hurt so many people."

During the program, the 44-year-old Canseco said he "wanted revenge" on Major League Baseball because he believed he had been forced out of the game. The book was his means of getting even, and he named names "to show I was telling the truth" about steroids in baseball, he said.

Canseco last played in 2001 and retired in 2002 with 462 career home runs, a .266 batting average, 1,407 RBIs and 200 stolen bases for eight major league clubs.

Among the players Canseco named in "Juiced" as alleged steroid users were Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. All three addressed the March 2005 congressional hearing on steroids, with McGwire's testimony damaging his chances of being voted into Cooperstown, and Palmeiro's unequivocal denial of steroid use haunting him when he later tested positive and was suspended.

"If I could meet with Mark McGwire and these players, I definitely would apologize to them," Canseco said, according to the New York Daily News. "They were my friends. I admired them. I respected them."

During the A&E program, according to the newspaper, Canseco also said he is scared for his health and living "check to check." He's been a hard-core user of performance-enhancing drugs for more than two decades and, he claims, only recently kicked his addiction.

At one point in the television program, Canseco is shown at an appointment with a Santa Monica physician asking to be weaned off steroids for good to restore his testosterone levels.

"My body forgot how to make testosterone," Canseco said, according to the Daily News. " ... Steroids and the use of steroids destroyed my life completely. Maybe [steroid use] will change some things chemically in me. I don't know what's going to happen."

Earlier this month, Canseco was detained at San Diego's San Ysidro border crossing after agents searched his vehicle and said they found human chorionic gonadotropin, which is illegal without a prescription. The drug is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency for use in males. The drug helps restore production of testosterone lost in steroid users.

He was charged last week in San Diego federal court with a misdemeanor offense of trying to bring a fertility drug across the border from Mexico. He is charged with introduction into interstate commerce of a misbranded drug, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. He has a Nov. 4 court date.

His arrest was not shown as part of the A&E program.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday that Canseco, still seeking steady work, has agreed to fight Danny Bonaduce in January as part of a Celebrity Boxing Federation bout. In July, Canseco was knocked out by former Philadelphia Eagles return man Vai Sikahema in Atlantic City, N.J.

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall," Bonaduce said, according to the Philadelphia paper.

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