Book proposal implicates McGwire

Updated: January 23, 2009, 8:21 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

A new book proposal, submitted by the admittedly estranged brother of Mark McGwire, claims the former major league slugger used both steroids and human growth hormone during his career.

In the proposal, first reported Wednesday on Deadspin.com, Jay McGwire alleges that Mark used Deca-Durabolin and that he introduced Mark to performance-enhancing drugs in 1994.

Deca-Durabolin helped with his joint problems and recovery, while growth hormone helped his strength, making him leaner in the process. I became the first person to inject him, like most first-timers he couldn't plunge in the needle himself. Later a girlfriend injected him.

-- Jay McGwire, talking about his brother Mark in reported book proposal

Jay McGwire writes in his proposal that his brother "began to use, but in low dosages so he wouldn't lift his way out of baseball. Deca-Durabolin helped with his joint problems and recovery, while growth hormone helped his strength, making him leaner in the process. I became the first person to inject him, like most first-timers he couldn't plunge in the needle himself. Later a girlfriend injected him."

Jose Canseco, in a book he wrote in 2005, claims he and McGwire, former Oakland A's teammates, used performance-enhancing drugs as far back as 1988. Jay McGwire disputes that in the book proposal.

The McGwire brothers reportedly haven't spoken to each other for years.

The book, "The McGwire Family Secret: The Truth about Steroids, a Slugger and Ultimate Redemption," is reportedly being sent by Jay McGwire to several publishing houses in New York. Deadspin.com said that it has been turned down by "many" publishers.

Jay McGwire is a bodybuilder. He writes in the proposal that he took his brother to his supplier and trainer after a 1994 bodybuilding championship, which Jay won. He says McGwire started using performance-enhancing substances then.

The New York Times reported Friday that several publishers who have seen the proposal for the book have passed on it.

"There are so many things about it that I find suspect," David Hirshey, the executive editor of HarperCollins, told The Times. "If Jay McGwire is to be believed, he says he is setting the record straight out of quote love unquote for his brother, although a cynic might say it's out of love for a big payday."

Jay McGwire claims in the proposal that Mark McGwire used androstenedione in 1998 to allow Mark "to avoid all the potential adverse side effects that could occur from using anabolic steroids, such as water retention, hair loss, and liver, heart, or kidney stress. In addition, he wouldn't have cholesterol problems or testicular atrophy. And there were no problems with the law."

McGwire hit 70 home runs in the 1998 season, breaking Roger Maris' single-season record. It has since been eclipsed by Barry Bonds.

Jay McGwire, in the proposal, also says he wished his brother would have confessed at the famous congressional hearing, instead of saying he wasn't going to talk about the past. Jay McGwire also writes that he doesn't believe missing out on the Hall of Fame will affect his brother.

"Mark is a man I think most would like to forgive because his reason wasn't nefarious -- it was for survival," he wrote, according to the proposal. "My bringing the truth to surface about Mark is out of love. I want Mark to live in truth to see the light, to come to repentance so he can live in freedom -- which is the only way to live. "

The Deadspin.com report does not say if it asked Mark McGwire for comment on the proposal. Attempts by ESPN to reach McGwire on Thursday have been unsuccessful.

McGwire has been out of the public eye since retiring from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001. He is now 45 years old.

Mark McGwire repeatedly has denied using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he testified under oath before Congress in 2005, however, he wouldn't discuss whether he did.

"Who knows what might have happened if I didn't get Mark involved with all the training, supplements, the right foods, steroids, and HGH?" the Web site quoted Jay McGwire as writing. "He would not have broken any records, and the congressional hearings would have gone on without him. Maybe Barry Bonds wouldn't have ever gotten involved with the stuff, either."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.