Former Mets Employee, Kirk Radomski Pleads Guilty to Steroid Charges, Names MLB Players
Kirk J. Radomski, a former batboy, clubhouse assistant and equipment manager for the New York Mets, admitted to distributing a variety of performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and hGH, to ‘dozens’ of Major League Baseball players from 1995 to 2005 when his home was raided by investigators, according to a plea agreement filed in federal court April 27, 2007.
The Washington Post (and now several other news sources) are reporting that Radomski, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing anabolic steroids and one count of felony money laundering. He is facing a maximum of 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. It is possible that Radomski has been cooperating with the government since December 2005.
It has been reported that on Radomski’s 2005 Search Warrant, Radomski had named specific players to whom he had sold performance-enhancing drugs. Several major media outlets have now reviewed the document but no names have come out. Sports Illustrated, which also has reviewed the warrant, reported that “at least one player associated with BALCO also has been implicated.”
According to the New York Daily News, after the guilty plea was filed, the MLB Players Association immediately began calling players telling them to be prepared in case they were named by Radomski. Players Association officials said they did not know the names of the players involved. Radomski also reportedly gave the names to former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who is leading the official MLB investigation into the game’s performance-enhancing drug problems.
Radomski’s plea marks an unprecedented level of cooperation between MLB and government investigators/officials. Mitchell is a former prosecutor, but doesn’t have the power to compel testimony in the MLB investigation. Radomski’s plea deal requires him to cooperate with both the government’s ongoing investigation and Senator Mitchell’s investigation.
Radomski worked for the Mets from 1985-1995, but supposedly didn’t start giving drugs to baseball players until 1995. It’s pretty hard to believe that Radomski wasn’t selling steroids while he was employed by the Mets. While it’s logical that Radomski could have made plenty of contacts in the Mets clubhouse to become a major supplier of steroids and other drugs to players, the fact that Radomski started selling drugs immediately after ceasing employment with the Mets seems like a convenient coincidence for Major League Baseball and the Mets Organization (not to mention Radomski). It looks so bad on baseball as a whole when the dealers are entrenched right in the clubhouse and is reminiscent of MLB and Pittsburgh’s cocaine issue in the 1980’s. Rest assured that MLB, the government and Radomski all benefit from the timelines laid out by investigators, and are all fully cooperating with eachother.
From a statement issued by the New York Mets released April 26, 2007:
“We were surprised and disappointed to learn of the guilty plea today. The conduct in question is diametrically opposed to the values and standards of the Mets organization and our owners. We are and always have been adamantly opposed to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and continue to support Major League Baseball’s efforts to eradicate any such use in our game.”
A confidential informant told the FBI that Radomski was a major drug source in professional baseball who ‘took over’ after BALCO fell in 2003, according to a federal search warrant affidavit filed in connection with the case. In that affidavit, IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky said that in February 2005 he received a tip from a confidential FBI source that Radomski was a major steroid dealer supplying Major League Baseball Players. The source placed five separate orders for drugs with Radomski through an unnamed Major League Baseball source beginning the following month.
The source also said Radomski provided drugs to at least one MLB player publicly associated with the BALCO. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and seven other current and former players have been implicated in the BALCO investigation thus far.
Radomski was caught talking on a wire tap and agents obtained checks that players had written to him, as well as the phone numbers for several players. Then on December 14, 2005, human growth hormone (hGH), anabolic steroids, clomiphene, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and clenbuterol were seized during a search of Radomski’s New York home.
Insulin-like growth factor-1, long thought to be the next generation of performance-enhancing drugs in sport had not previously been connected to baseball players. Experts have assumed for sometime that players were using IGF-1; the drug is now officially linked to baseball.
From Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella:
“This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs whose clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players. He operated for approximately a decade.”
Radomski agreed to testify at any grand jury proceeding requested by the government and participate in undercover activities under the supervision of law enforcement officials as part of the plea deal. His ability to aid the government is hugely diminished now that his name has been made public.