Jose Canseco: 'Juiced'

Ex-Slugger Tells <B><I>60 Minutes</B></I> He Injected McGwire, Palmeiro, Others

When Correspondent Mike Wallace first reported this story in February, former slugger Jose Canseco - variously called "The Bad Boy of Baseball" or "The Godfather of Steroids" - was about to release his book, "Juiced," an account of his use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

In the book, and in his interview with 60 Minutes, Canseco claimed widespread use of steroids in Major League Baseball, and he named names, some of them superstar players.

Following this story, several of those players, including Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, were called to testify before Congress about steroids in baseball.

None of them admitted using steroids, and Palmeiro vehemently denied the charge: "I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."

This past week, Palmeiro failed a drug test under the league's new steroid policy, and was slapped with a 10-game suspension. He has now revised his position and released a statement claiming that he never intentionally used steroids.

None of this comes as any surprise to Canseco, who told his story to Wallace.

"Baseball is the national pasttime, and what you're saying is that the national pasttime is juiced," Wallace asks Canseco.

"Yeah. It is," says Canseco. "And it's reality."

"And what you're doing to baseball now, you're taking on the whole baseball establishment," says Wallace.

"I don't know if I'm directly trying to take on the whole baseball establishment," says Canseco. "I'm just basically telling a story of my life."

His book, "Juiced," has put Major League Baseball and its author on the hot seat. Canseco writes about his 16-year career as a Major League ball player, and he says that from his first season, to his last in 2001, he used illegal anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

"You essentially strengthened your body and your performance with a cocktail of steroids and growth hormones," says Wallace.

"Yes," says Canseco.

Where did he inject it? "Into your gluteus maximus, which is your butt muscle," says Canseco, who admits it's illegal to use, unless prescribed and administered by a licensed doctor.

Those illegal drugs helped fuel a larger-than-life career for Canseco, whose many home runs were monster shots. In 1988, Canseco hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases. It was a feat never seen before.

"You say this, 'I would never have been a Major League-caliber player without steroids.' Right," asks Wallace.

"Well, it's a true statement. No ifs and buts about it," says Canseco.

And how much of his career success does he attribute to the use of steroids?

"Maybe not accomplish the things I did, the freakish things I did, being 6'4", 250, running 4-340's, the 40-40. Hitting 600-foot home runs. Who knows," says Canseco. "A lot of it is psychological. I mean, you really believe you have an edge. You feel the strength, and the stamina."

As early as his MVP season in 1988, there were whispers that Canseco was using steroids, and he denied these accusations throughout his entire career. But his activities off the field fanned the flames. He was arrested numerous times. Psychologists say that steroid use can stimulate aggressive behavior in some people, behavior sometimes called 'roid rage.

In 1989, he was arrested in California for carrying a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his car. In 1992, he was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly ramming his then-wife Esther's BMW with his Porsche. In November 1997, he was arrested and jailed for allegedly smacking his estranged bride of one year. And on Nov. 13, 2001, he was arrested with his brother after a fight at a Miami Beach nightclub on Halloween. He attacked two tourists, leaving one with a broken nose, and the other with 20 stitches in his lip.

"All of these are in the record," says Wallace.

"Are we to say that any individual who's on steroids that has an angry moment is due to steroids," asks Canseco. "What about the individual who gets angry and kills someone who's not on steroids? What do we blame it on now?"

By 2001, at 37, Canseco's baseball career wound down. He'd played for seven teams and hit 462 home runs.

Does he have any shame that illegal drugs fueled his career?

"That's a tough question. Because I tried to everything possible to become the best player in the world," says Canseco. "Do I believe steroids and growth hormones helped me achieve that? Yes. Were there a lot of other players doing it that I had to compete against? Yes."

"What you're saying is that you were a living steroids experiment for your entire career," says Wallace.

"Yes, that's what I was," says Canseco, who claims he knows more about steroids than most trained physicians, and that he actively counseled other players about using anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

Did he give some of his steroids to other players? "Not mine, no," says Canseco. "Did I put them in contact with the people to acquire them? Yes. Did I educate them on how to use them properly, and what way, shape, or form, and when, and with what supplements? Yes. Absolutely."

Where did he get steroids? "You get them anywhere. You can go right here to the corner gym and get it," says Canseco. "It's that simple. It's that easy. But obviously, I don't recommend using them or getting them without supervision, or a prescription, because they are illegal."

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