Eric Gagne says 80 percent of his Dodgers teammates used PEDs
Eric Gagne details his use of HGH in his new biography and estimates that 80 percent of his Dodgers teammates were using performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN LA reports.
Gagne, who was an All-Star closer with the Dodgers from 2002-2004 and won the 2003 Cy Young Award, says in his new biography “Game Over: The Story of Eric Gagne,” that he did five cycles of HGH over a three-year period.
“It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career,” Gagne reportedly says of his HGH use.
Gagne first admitted his HGH use in a 2010 interview with the LA Times. He said at the time, “I hate to talk about it. It just doesn’t do anyone any good. But I thought it would help me get better when I hurt my knee. I just don’t want that to sound as an excuse.
“I’m so ashamed. It wasn’t smart. If I knew what I know now. . . . I didn’t need it. I regret it so much, just now maybe getting over the guilt. It was stupid.”
Gagne says he began using HGH to help heal from a knee injury. As far as his statement that his HGH use ruined his health, we know he had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and back problems later in his career.
Perhaps the most significant revelation in the book is Gagne’s estimation that 80 percent of his Dodgers teammates were using performance-enhancing drugs.
“I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived. I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them,” Gagne says in the book.
Gagne and several of his former Dodgers teammates were mentioned in the Mitchell Report in 2007 for their use of PEDs. He didn’t feel free to discuss his teammates’ usage then because he was still part of the game and baseball community.
Gagne signed with the Rangers as a free agent before the 2007 season and regained most of his pre-injury form for them before they traded him to Boston prior to the deadline. Gagne struggled with the Red Sox, and then the Brewers the following year. He tried making a comeback with the Dodgers in 2010 after spending the 2009 season in the Can-Am League, but he struggled and soon after announced his retirement.
Though the 80 percent figure seems awfully high, recall that MLB didn’t have a drug testing policy in place at the time. Also remember that the Mitchell Report named Kevin Brown, Paul Lo Duca, Todd Hundley, Phil Hiatt, Gary Sheffield, F.P. Santangelo, Ismael Valdez, and Matt Herges as users, and all of them were teammates of Gagne on the Dodgers. Guillermo Mota, a two-time violator of MLB’s drug testing policy, was also a former teammate of Gagne on the Dodgers, though he was not implicated in the Mitchell Report.
Based on that information, Gagne’s estimation seems reasonable. The figure would probably be similar across all MLB teams from that era.