|Curt Schilling declined to talk to George Mitchell about steroids because he felt he "would have nothing to offer." (File/Christopher Evans/Associated Press)|
The Red Sox' Curt Schilling acknowledged yesterday that he had declined former senator George Mitchell's request to be interviewed as part of Major League Baseball's investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Mitchell said he contacted five major league players who had spoken publicly about steroids, asked to interview them, and made it clear he was not suggesting that they had ever used performance-enhancing drugs. But Frank Thomas of the Toronto Blue Jays was the only one who agreed to be interviewed. Mitchell would not identify the other players he approached, but Schilling said in an e-mail that he was one of the four who declined.
Schilling, who testified during congressional hearings on steroids in 2005, said he "would have nothing to offer" Mitchell's investigation "other than personal opinion and hypotheticals." Schilling's previous comments about illegal drugs were enough to earn him a subpoena from Congress, and he said he "was concerned that even if I presented opinions, it could be made more than that."
He added: "When you consider that the mere mention of names in relation to this topic is pretty much ruining someone's career, I didn't feel it was worth it."
In his e-mail, Schilling reiterated that he had never seen someone use steroids, so he considered it detrimental to even sit down with Mitchell.
"As I stated before Congress, I've never seen someone inject themselves or ingest PED's, so for me to have any value to this investigation would have meant I would have had to name people I 'thought' were doing them, or in my opinion 'were clearly doing something' and I think that would have been incredibly stupid and harmful," Schilling said.
When Schilling was asked for his impressions of Mitchell's report, issued Thursday, he said he had not "fully digested it all yet." But the pitcher added, "I believe it, if that's what you are asking."
Schilling also addressed the possible damage that could occur from a player's name appearing in the report.
"I worry that not every name in the report is not a user, but how do we know which ones outside of the players who had specific evidence and testimony did it?" Schilling asked. "I mean, Brian Roberts's name was included, and I think people everywhere assume that, since he's on the 'list' of names ESPN presented, he's one of the guilty ones? If you read the report, his name was included because Larry Bigbie told the Mitchell investigators that Brian mentioned to him that he'd tried it. Is that right? I don't think it is."