(AFP) – Feb 11, 2008
ATLANTA, Georgia (AFP) — Controversial former Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker, who scoffed at the notion of huge doping trouble in his sport last year, now says he was in on it and officials knew it.
In two separate interviews on Atlanta radio shows Monday, the former Atlanta Braves pitcher said that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig knew Rocker was a dope cheat and suggested league and union leaders knew of doping.
Rocker suggested high-level officials and players association officials knew he was taking steroids but doctors for both groups offered advice to him and some teammates on how to use performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN reported.
Steroids were not banned by Major League Baseball in 2000, the time frame Rocker discussed, nor was there any testing program for steroids in baseball.
Rocker, known for past outspoken remarks including insults to New York subway riders, said "between 40 to 50 percent of baseball players are on steroids" and "in 2000, Bud Selig knew John Rocker was taking the juice."
A 20-month probe by former US Senator George Mitchell revealed more than 80 players linked to performance-enhancing drugs last December but even Mitchell said that might be the tip of the iceberg.
Rocker offered no proof and made a drastic switch from last March's comments to ESPN that "less than 10 percent" of players were dope cheats during his career and the scandal was "a lot of media propaganda".
Rocker played in 59 games for the Braves in 2000, going 1-2 with a 2.89 earned-run average and 24 saves. In 1999, he made a career-best 38 saves for the Braves. In 2002 he threw 24 1/3 innings over 30 appearances for Texas.
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