|George Mitchell's report is expected by the year's end. (FILE/MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Report: Mitchell probe might reveal names
Baseball investigator George Mitchell likely will issue his long-awaited report on steroids use in the game by the end of the year, and there is a strong possibility he will identify individual players.
A lawyer for the firm representing Major League Baseball in the investigation updated representatives for the 30 teams during a conference call yesterday and told them Mitchell's report likely would be issued in November or December, several team officials said.
Asked by a club official whether the report would name individual players, Thomas Carlucci of Foley & Lardner told teams they should assume it would, several team officials who were briefed on the call's details said. Reached at his office, Carlucci declined comment.
Carlucci, a former assistant US attorney in San Francisco, also told teams there was a good chance they would not receive copies of the report before it's made public. Carlucci's conference call first was reported by ESPN.
"There is only one group of people that knows when the report is going to be issued, whether it's going to contain names, how many names it's going to contain, and what those names are, and that would be Senator Mitchell and the members of his firm," said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president of labor relations.
Mitchell issued a statement that did not go into specifics.
"The investigation has not been completed, and no decisions have been made about any aspect of the report," he said.
The players' association has asked for Mitchell to provide any accusations he intends to include in his report and the evidence that backs up the charges so that players may have an opportunity to refute them, a person who represents players said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Lawyers for Mitchell have told the union that they are reluctant to do so, the person said.
"Everybody about whom allegations have been made and whom I would consider including in my report will be given an opportunity to hear the allegations against them and respond to them in a personal meeting with me," Mitchell said in a March 1 interview.
He said yesterday he has given players general notice.
"For each player about whom allegations have been received of illegal use of performance-enhancing substances, I have provided the years during which the alleged use occurred and the name of the teams with which the player was then affiliated," he said. "I asked to meet with them for the purpose of directly providing them with the evidence about the allegations and to give them a chance to respond.
"My decision to proceed in this manner was consistent with my statement of March 1, 2007, and was based on my belief that it was the best and most fair course of action for the investigation and for the players involved."
Mitchell's staff repeatedly has asked to speak with active players, but nearly all have refused. The Yankees' Jason Giambi, following remarks about steroid use with USA Today, cooperated only when commissioner Bud Selig threatened him with discipline, and even then Giambi would discuss only his personal experience with steroids and not detail anything he knew about others.