NEW YORK - Roger Clemens turned out to be Exhibit A in the long-awaited Mitchell Report, an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark - if not an asterisk - next to some of baseball's biggest moments.
Barry Bonds, already under indictment on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroids, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte also showed up Thursday in the game's most infamous lineup since the Black Sox scandal.
The report culminated a 20-month investigation by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, hired by commissioner Bud Selig to examine the Steroids Era.
Seven MVPs showed up, and in all, 80-some players were fingered, enough to put an All-Star at every position.
No one was hit harder than Clemens, who denied the allegations through his lawyer. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was singled out in nearly nine pages, 82 references by name. Much of the information on Clemens came from former New York Yankees major league strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee.
'The illegal use of performance-enhancing substances poses a serious threat to the integrity of the game,' the report said. 'Widespread use by players of such substances unfairly disadvantages the honest athletes who refuse to use them and raises questions about the validity of baseball records.'
While the records will surely stand, several stars could pay the price in Cooperstown, much the way Mark McGwire was kept out of the Hall of Fame this year merely because of steroids suspicion.
'If there are problems, I wanted them revealed,' Selig said. 'His report is a call to action, and I will act.'
The report was unlikely to trigger a wave of discipline. While a few players, such as Bonds, are subjects of ongoing legal proceedings, most of the instances cited by Mitchell were before drug testing began in 2003.
Mitchell said punishment was inappropriate in all but the most egregious cases, and Selig said decisions on any action would come 'swiftly' on a case-by-case basis.
Mitchell said the problems didn't develop overnight and there was plenty of blame to go around.
'Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades - commissioners, club officials, the players' association and players - shares to some extent the responsibility for the Steroids Era,' Mitchell said. 'There was a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on.'
Mitchell recommended that the drug-testing program be made independent, that a list of the substances players test positive for be listed periodically and that the timing of testing be more unpredictable.
Eric Gagne, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr., Paul Byrd, Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Paul Lo Duca and Rick Ankiel were among other current players named in the report - in fact, there's an All-Star at every position. Some were linked to Human Growth Hormone, others to steroids.
Only Bonds was mentioned more than Clemens, 103 times, most of it recounting previous reports.
More than a dozen Yankees, past and present, were identified. Players were linked to doping in various ways - some were identified as users, some as buyers and some by media reports and other investigations.
'According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens' performance showed remarkable improvement,' the report said. 'During this period of improved performance, Clemens told McNamee that the steroids 'had a pretty good effect' on him.'
McNamee also told investigators that 'during the middle of the 2000 season, Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season, McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin.'
'It is very unfair to include Roger's name in this report,' said Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin. 'He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong.'
'There has never been one shred of tangible evidence that he ever used these substances and yet he is being slandered today,' said Hardin, who called McNamee a 'troubled man.'
Former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski also provided information as part of his plea agreement in a federal steroids case. Jose Canseco's book 'Juiced' also was cited.
Mitchell urged Selig to hold off on punishing players in the report 'except in those cases where he determines that the conduct is so serious that discipline is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game.'
'Former commissioner Fay Vincent told me that the problem of performance-enhancing substances may be the most serious challenge that baseball has faced since the 1919 Black Sox scandal,' Mitchell said in the 409-page report.
'The illegal use of anabolic steroids and similar substances, in Vincent's view, is 'cheating of the worst sort.' He believes that it is imperative for Major League Baseball to 'capture the moral high ground' on the issue and, by words and deeds, make it clear that baseball will not tolerate the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.'
Rafael Palmeiro, who tested positive for steroids, was among the former players named. So were Kevin Brown, Benito Santiago, Lenny Dykstra, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice, Mo Vaughn and Todd Hundley.
Mike Stanton, Scott Schoeneweis, Ron Villone and Jerry Hairston Jr. were among the other current players identified.
SideBar: Mitchell Report list
Here's a list of Major League Baseball players listed in the Mitchell Report.
The following players were connected to steroids, either use or possession, in the report:
Paul Lo Duca
Exavier 'Nook' Logan
The following players were cited under 'Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball' in the report:
Gary Matthews Jr.
The following players were linked through BALCO in the report: