Retired first baseman David Segui said yesterday he has experimented with anabolic steroids, bought shipments from his friend, former New York Mets clubhouse attendant and admitted drug distributor Kirk Radomski, and reiterated he used human growth hormone with a legal prescription from a Florida doctor.
But Segui told The Sun that he declined to talk to former Sen. George Mitchell because he didn't want to betray the trust of other ballplayers or be caught in a game of speculation about what former teammates or opponents did or didn't do. He also didn't want people wondering what information might have came from him.
"I have nothing to hide. I have no problem talking about what I have done," said Segui, who spent eight of his 15 big league seasons with the Orioles. "But I never want any other players to think I was out there talking about their business. Because I do know a lot, but people have told me things in confidence and I don't want to be spreading that."
He said investigators contacted him "numerous times" through his financial adviser and he once spoke briefly by phone with Mitchell to decline the invitation.
"Sen. Mitchell seems like a really good guy and he seems like he wants to get to the bottom of everything, but I don't see the point of what is going to come out of it," he said. "I don't see the benefit of somebody who is not playing anymore speaking about things that are over and done with in regards to other people."
The Mitchell investigation, authorized by commissioner Bud Selig in 2006, is expected to implicate dozens of current and former players. Many of those had a relationship with Radomski, the former Mets employee who has cooperated with Mitchell and is awaiting federal sentencing in February for supplying players with performance-enhancers and other illegal drugs.
Segui said he met Radomski after the Orioles traded him to the Mets in 1994; they became close friends and still talk by phone several times a week - mainly about fishing and family.
A bodybuilder and personal trainer, Radomski initially assisted Segui with nutrition and weightlifting. Eventually, Segui said, he paid Radomski for various products, from legal supplements and workout gear to anabolic steroids and clenbuterol, an asthma drug that supposedly melts body fat and is on baseball's banned substances list. Segui also loaned Radomski money on occasion.
"It was stuff you do for a friend," he said. "I always had a feeling - I knew when more and more guys were going through him - that there is probably going to come the day when he is going to get caught."
But it wasn't as if Radomski was trying to operate a drug business, Segui said.
"If I needed to get something, anything, I'd go to him. He was someone you trusted," Segui said. "That's how he developed ... a clientele list."
Because Segui often paid Radomski with personal checks, he said he inadvertently created a paper trail. But Segui told his buddy not to cover for him.
"I'm pretty loyal to my friends," Segui said. "I told him don't lie about my situation or any contacts or dealings we've had. I don't want him to get into any trouble trying to hide anything we've done together. If I was engaged in something that's illegal and he got caught, it'd be hard to turn my back."
Other former and current players in the same situation have abandoned Radomski, Segui said.
"I'm the only one who talks to him, and that irritates me," Segui said. "I know a ... bunch of guys that he was helping."
Segui, 41, retired from the Orioles in 2004, but made headlines in June 2006 when he went public with his use of human growth hormone after he believed his name was included in a redacted federal indictment of former Orioles pitcher Jason Grimsley.
Segui said he talked to Grimsley about hGH, but advised him only that he should visit a doctor and have his hormone level tested.
Segui said he used hGH while with the Orioles, but obtained it with a prescription from a legitimate physician because his insulin-like growth factor readings were extremely low. He continues to take hGH daily.
A lifetime .291 hitter in nearly 5,000 at-bats, Segui said the perception that his sustained success was a product of performance-enhancers is a fallacy. He cycled steroids on occasion, he said, but there was no formal testing policy that prohibited it.
"I played more years where I didn't take anything than years where I did take something," he said, without specifics. "I never denied it or pretended to be an angel."