Monday, February 07, 2005

Canseco says Bush knew about drugs

Canseco confessions

Tell-all outs steroid users


Swollen ex-slugger Jose Canseco lays waste to the game that made him famous in a shocking new book, outing several stars as steroid abusers, the Daily News has learned.

The book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big," published by Regan Books and scheduled to hit bookstores Feb. 21, already is causing a firestorm in baseball circles. Players, agents, union officials and Major League Baseball executives have been burning up the phone lines over the past several days trying to find information about the book's contents.

"Hoo boy," one top major league executive said. "This is going to be bad."

Canseco apparently dropped the title he told reporters a year ago he would use, "Dare to Truth."

The longtime Oakland star, who made a brief appearance with the Yankees in 2000, claims he introduced steroids to the game and injected fellow Bash Brother Mark McGwire in the rear end numerous times in clubhouse bathroom stalls.

He also describes watching disgraced Yankee slugger Jason Giambi and McGwire injecting each other when they both played with the Oakland A's, and says he personally taught All-Star and potential Hall of Famers Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez to use 'roids after he was traded to the Texas Rangers in 1992.

Canseco claims the team's general managing partner at the time - an aspiring politician named George W. Bush - had to have been aware that his players were using performance-enhancing drugs but did nothing about it.

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius declined to comment on the allegations, but he noted that President Bush called on players and owners during his 2004 State of the Union address to get rid of steroids and applauded the beefed-up drug policy Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed to in December.

"This President's position on steroids has been clear for some time," Lisaius said.

The book is an homage to steroids, and Canseco says that he not only used them, but that all players should. He concedes that kids shouldn't use them and no one should abuse the muscle-building drugs, but Canseco practically offers a how-to guide to steroids and human growth hormone.

He also says he never would have made it to the major leagues - much less become the 1988 American League MVP - without their help.

Canseco, who played for seven teams before retiring last spring after an unsuccessful comeback attempt with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is not likely to be received warmly by many of his old teammates. He harshly criticizes baseball's double standard for white players and says that both owners and the Players Association were complicit in the spread of steroids in the late 1990s.

The book, which is still being edited, dishes plenty of dirt about the wild life of a young, rich ballplayer with a healthy sexual appetite, among other shocking revelations, but also talks about the harsh treatment he and his brother received from their father, and the painful death of their mother.

Perhaps the biggest shock in the book? Canseco says he never slept with Madonna. They made out in her Manhattan apartment one night, he claims, but that's as far as it went.

Originally published on February 5, 2005