The findings of former Sen. George Mitchell's report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball were released at 11 a.m. PT on Thursday.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong, speaking on behalf of the organization, said during a conference call with local reporters that he needed time to read the report "cover to cover" before answering specific questions.
"But [after] skimming through it, what I would like to say is we're disappointed that any names of former Mariners players are named in the report," Armstrong said.
The Mariners' organization has been diligent for several years about instructing all of its players against using performance-enhancing substances and fully supports all actions being taken to rid the sport of cheating.
"In order to make sure this problem is solved we fully support the Commissioner and his efforts and the recommendations of Senator Mitchell," Armstrong said. "We would like to get those implemented and we'll all feel confident."
Franklin was suspended for 10 games in August 2005 for a positive steroids test conducted in May of that year. According to Mitchell's report, Franklin was referred to Kirk Radomski -- the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant-turned-steroids salesman who was a major source of information for Mitchell -- by Villone, his then-Mariners teammate.
That was much different than the story Franklin presented two years ago.
"There's got to be a flaw in the system," Franklin said at the time, saying a supplemental drink he had taken apparently was tainted and apparently caused the failed test. "I have no clue. I tested in May and again three weeks later. The first [test] was positive, the second was negative."
The pitcher said he was told of his positive test and "thought it was a joke." He appealed and appeared before two arbitration committees before being suspended. The appeal was denied.
"I'm one of the guys supportive of strong testing," Franklin said in 2005. "I believe I got to the big leagues on God-given talent, and that's how I've stayed here. It's hard to swallow. I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that.
"I'll never take [supplements] again. I won't even take a vitamin until I'm done with baseball," he added. "I hate what's happened for the organization, for me, and my family. I'm done with taking anything."
The Mitchell Report did not include the names of current outfielder Mike Morse, who was suspended for a positive steroids test taken when he was with the White Sox, and former outfielder Matt Lawton, also suspended for a positive test.
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.
Free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph 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 in PDF format. It will be presented in a searchable, clickable version as soon as the 311 pages of content can be converted appropriately.
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.