WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 The St. Louis Cardinals' new hire of former home run king/admitted steroid abuser Mark McGwire as hitting coach sends a message to all baseball and young people of "CHEAT, DO DRUGS, COVER UP WHEN CONGRESS INVESTIGATES," former White House drug policy spokesman Bob Weiner said today.
Weiner continued, "What will he tell batters? Grab the drugs? When McGwire used Andro (Androstenedione), now banned, he hit his record 70 home runs. After publicly ending his andro use, his home run total dropped from 70 to 30, he soon left baseball, and he dropped 80 pounds. McGwire is a horrendous role model -- the Cardinals even kept him away from the news conference announcing his appointment by Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt and Manager Tony La Russa. Yet Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig stated, 'I'm delighted (to have) Mark back.'"
Weiner asserted, "The Selig, La Russa, and De Witt actions and statements raise questions about MLB's commitment once again...and remind us they need to more thoroughly test the current crop of players, especially the ones who are still in the game (including Derek Jeter) who have credible allegations of past steroid abuse."
"BASEBALL SHOULD TEST ALL THE PLAYERS IN THE CURRENT WORLD SERIES, JUST AS THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TESTS FINALISTS AT THE OLYMPICS IN ALL EVENTS," Weiner stated. Weiner advocated and assisted in the creation of the World and US Anti-Doping Agencies, which test Olympic and other sports, when he worked at the White House Drug Policy Office. Weiner stated that "the Olympics, and in particular track and field, are the Cadillac of drug testing and accountability. No one, star or not, escapes the microscope and sanctions."
Weiner pointed out that when McGwire testified before Congress in March 2005, when asked if he had used steroids, he said, "I'm not going to talk about the past." Since then, his partner in home run record-setting, Sammy Sosa, also has been implicated in steroid abuse, with ESPN and the Chicago Tribune among other media reporting that he tested positive in 2003.
Weiner concluded, "Some people think it's funny, irrelevant, or even entertaining to see the drugged-up behemoths smashing homers. The problem beyond cheating is that people are getting sick, dying, and even committing suicide from illnesses related to steroids -- 'roid rage,' depression, and physical ailments including cancer and diabetes. Between a half million and a million youth use steroids a year. Youth steroid abuse quintupled when McGwire broke Roger Maris' home run record and admitted using steroids."
Contact: Bob Weiner/Rebecca VanderLinde 301-283-0821 / 202-306-1200
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates