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Mitchell Report will take time to digest

Cubs reviewing Mitchell Report

CHICAGO -- No current Cubs players -- but some former Cubs, including Matt Karchner, Todd Hundley, Kent Mercker, and Jerry Hairston Jr. -- were among the players cited in Sen. George Mitchell's report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, released on Thursday.

"I haven't had time to get into the report at any extensive length or digest it," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "I was grateful that none of the present Cubs were listed or involved, and other than that I have nothing to say about it."

Chicago shortstop Ryan Theriot, who also had yet to read the entire report, was surprised to hear names like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte on the list.

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"They're on a list, but I don't know what put them on a list -- that's hard for me to understand right now," Theriot said. "I know for a fact there are guys who never tested positive for anything, but their names have come out."

Theriot, who owns a gym in Baton Rouge, La., says he's very careful about what supplements he takes.

"There was a period for me that I wouldn't drink a protein shake because I was afraid it could've been tainted," Theriot said. "If I was the owner of a supplement company in a highly competitive market that was not regulated by the FDA, I'm sure they're all tempted to juice up their products. It's possible -- they're not regulated. You go into GNC, and none of those products, unless they're GNC products, are FDA approved."

He has sent samples to the Cubs medical staff to have supplements tested.

"That's really the safest way to do it," Theriot said.

Kids will approach him and ask about supplements and performance-enhancing drugs.

"That peer pressure thing gets to kids a lot," Theriot said. "I knew I wanted children, and I read one time that [steroids] could cause birth defects. There's no way I would ever take that chance with my children who didn't ask for that. It's just not worth it. How could you sleep at night? Some people don't think that far in advance. I was one of those people who weighed my options on everything I did."

Some kids do give in to peer pressure. Theriot said hard work and talent will make a difference, not something someone injects into their bloodstream.

"I don't care what you're shooting in your body, it's not going to make you hit a baseball better," Theriot said. "There's nothing you can give yourself to make you hit a curveball. It's just not there. When you see people want to [take something to] speed up recovery time, I think that's true. I guess that's what it's designed to do."

He's never seen any steroid use in the clubhouse, or anything else that's suspicious.

"Obviously, I'm not a 10-year Major League veteran, but I've been around the game a long time and I've never seen it," he said. "As prevalent as everybody says it was, I've never seen it."

Karchner, who pitched for the Cubs from 1998-2000, was contacted by Mitchell's investigative staff. According to the report, Karchner said that during Spring Training in 1999, he observed two of his Cubs teammates injecting themselves with steroids in an apartment that Karchner was sharing with them. Karchner would not identify the players.

One of them brought the steroids to the apartment but was "afraid of needles and therefore asked the second player to administer the shot." The second player injected the first with steroids in the buttocks and then injected himself, according to the report.

Later that season, Karchner said he was offered steroids by some of his Cubs teammates. Karchner would not disclose the names, but said "the conversations he had with them involved the general cost of steroids and discussions of 'stacking' to build lean muscle necessary for pitchers."

Karchner did not report these incidents to anyone at the time, the report said.

Former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski was linked to other former Cubs. Radomski, who pleaded guilty in April to federal charges of distributing steroids and money laundering, said he first met Hundley in 1988. Radomski stated that "beginning in 1996, he sold Deca-Durabolin and testosterone to Hundley on three or four occasions." Hundley played for the Cubs from 2001-02.

Mercker pitched for the Cubs in 2004. According to the report, Radomski said he sold one kit of HGH to Mercker in October 2002. The pitcher had recently undergone surgery and, according to Radomski, was seeking HGH because "he believed it might accelerate his recovery."

Hairston played for the Cubs from 2005-06. According to the report, he was referred to Radomski by David Segui, and Radomski said he sold HGH to Hairston on two or three occasions during 2003 and 2004.

Other former Cubs cited include Rondell White, Glenallen Hill and Benito Santiago.

White played for the Cubs from 2000-01. According to Radomski, White started buying performance-enhancing substances from him in 2000. The report states "White bought both human growth hormone and Deca-Durabolin." Mitchell says in the first interview, Radomski "estimated he had engaged in 'six to 10' transactions with White, some paid for with cash, others paid by check."

Hill played for the Cubs from 1993-94 and from 1998-2000, and, according to the report, he met Radomski at a social function in 2000. Hill purchased two kits of HGH from Radomski, and a copy of a March 2001 check for $3,200 from Hill to Radomski was included in the report.

Hill was interviewed by Mitchell, and his recollection differed from Radomski's account, according to the report. Hill said he was given Radomski's contact information from a player Hill identified only as "David," whom he had met in 1998.

According to Hill, he had five telephone conversations with Radomski about the use and effects of steroids. Hill said Radomski sold him Sustanon. However, Hill said he "never used the anabolic steroids that he bought from Radomski." Hill said he was suffering from "marital stress" at the time, which is why he chose not to use the steroids.

"Obviously, if you have a check written to somebody, then you bought the stuff -- but that doesn't mean you took it," Theriot said. "If you're a little kid and you go to the store with a fake ID and you buy a can of beer, and you sit there and look at it and look at it and don't drink it and your conscious gets to you."

Santiago played for the Cubs in 1999, and the Mitchell Report states Barry Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson said he provided Santiago with HGH in 2003.

Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.

Besides Clemens and Pettitte, others named in the 311-page report included Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals. The report includes evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.

The players listed above are by no means the only players listed in the report, but in MLB.com's first, quick review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.

While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.

Mitchell's report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["drug_policy" ] }
{"content":["drug_policy" ] }