A new drug stink hits baseball

Former Mets worker admits dealing steroids to players from many teams

A former Mets bat boy who used his clubhouse connections to peddle performance enhancing drugs to dozens of Major League Baseball players pleaded guilty yesterday to steroid distribution and money laundering.
As the Daily News first reported on its Web site yesterday, Kirk Radomski, 37, who worked for the Mets from 1985 to September 1995, rising from bat boy to clubhouse attendant, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance - anabolic steroids - and one count of money laundering in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
From the time he left the team until the time federal agents raided his Long Island home in December 2005, he provided the steroid deca-durabolin, testosterone, Clenbuterol, human growth hormone and amphetamines to players. And when the feds caught up with him, he started naming names.
No names have been released (they were redacted from the search warrant affidavit), but baseball union officials were concerned enough that they began calling current and former players yesterday, telling them to be prepared in case Radomski had named them to prosecutors. Union officials said they did not know the names of the players involved.
As part of his plea agreement, Radomski is required to cooperate with former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who has been investigating baseball's doping history for commissioner Bud Selig.
"We look forward to working together with federal law enforcement toward our shared goal of dealing effectively with illegal performance-enhancing drug use in baseball," Mitchell was quoted in the statement released by U.S. Attorney Scott Schools late yesterday.
"This is the biggest break he's had," a major league source said.
According to court documents, Radomski admitted dealing steroids to dozens of major leaguers from 1995 to 2005, after he left the Mets, operating out of his base in Lindenhurst, L.I., which was raided by agents on Dec. 14, 2005. Radomski now lives in Manorville, L.I.
Agents found more than 20 instances in which major league players issued checks to Radomski between 2003 and 2005 for amounts from $200 to $3,500, after MLB's steroid testing went into effect.
Just hours before news of Radomski's plea broke, union chief Don Fehr told a meeting of The Associated Press Sports Editors, "I think testing is working. The incidence of use is down. Ten to 15 years from now, people will say, 'with the war, global warming and 9/11, why did we spend so much time on things like Anna Nicole Smith and steroids?'"
But Schools, whose office is still considering charges against Barry Bonds for perjury, had a different take.
"The distribution of anabolic steroids to professional athletes cheats both the paying public and the clean athletes and is a serious crime," he said in the statement. "This investigation shows that distribution of performance-enhancing drugs continues to be an issue for sport in America. This office is dedicated to pursuing those who benefit from such crimes."
The Mets also released a statement yesterday, saying, "We were surprised and disappointed to learn of the guilty plea today."
According to court documents, IRS investigator Jeff Novitzky, the lead agent in the BALCO steroids case, heard from the FBI in February 2005 that Radomski was providing drugs to players. That led to an undercover investigation that included drug buys and wiretaps.
Radomski described his behavior this way in his plea: "During my past employment in Major League Baseball, I developed contacts with Major League Baseball players throughout the country to whom I subsequently distributed anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs."
On Dec. 7, 2005, Radomski shipped two vials of the steroid deca-durabolin, two vials of testosterone and 10 syringes to San Jose, believing he was shipping them to the friend of a former client. Instead, they went to an undercover agent.
Radomski then agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and under his agreement will continue to work with them.
While his home was raided by the same agent who led the BALCO investigation, Radomski, who could face 20 years in prison, has no known connection to the lab itself.


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