Sports Outside the Beltway

12 Former Braves Named in Mitchell Report

A dozen former Atlanta Braves were among those named in yesterday’s Mitchell Report documenting the abuse of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

Former Braves All-Star outfielders David Justice and Gary Sheffield and pitchers Denny Neagle and John Rocker were among 12 ex-Braves players linked to steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report released Thursday.


Among former Braves named, three (Sheffield and pitchers Paul Byrd and Darren Holmes) were cited for incidents during their time with the Braves. Other ex-Braves named: pitchers Kent Mercker and Mike Stanton, catcher Todd Pratt, and infielders Matt Franco, Ken Caminiti and Wally Joyner.

Sheffield, Byrd and Rocker were cited for allegations from previous investigations, rather than new information.

Justice, a Brave from 1989 to 1996, was said to have purchased human growth hormone in 2000 from a former Mets clubhouse attendant, Kirk Radomski. The report said former Yankees strength coach Brian McNamee recalled Justice asking him about human growth hormone in 2000 or 2001, while McNamee and Justice were both with the Yankees. According to McNamee, Justice admitted he obtained HGH from Radomski. Justice, recently inducted into the Braves’ Hall of Fame, could not be reached for comment.

Radomski and McNamee were the sources for most of the new information in the report. Some players expressed concern over the report’s heavy reliance on statements from those individuals.

“Unless you have hard truth, you’re just taking the word of a clubhouse guy,” said Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta’s player representative. “If you have anything with substance, we want to know. We want to rid that [drugs] out of the game, but I think you have to have some evidence. You just can’t take someone’s word for it.”

I think that’s right.

The news coverage also is doing a poor job distinguishing between steroid use to build big muscles and the use of HGH to aid recovery from injury under a doctor’s care.

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