TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Hank Steinbrenner insists baseball is being picked on for its trouble with performance-enhancing drugs, and claims the problem is bigger in football.
``I don't like baseball being singled out,'' the New York Yankees senior vice president said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday night.
``Everybody that knows sports knows football is tailor-made for performance-enhancing drugs. I don't know how they managed to skate by. It irritates me. Don't tell me it's not more prevalent. The number in football is at least twice as many. Look at the speed and size of those players.''
Answered NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: ``We've had year-round random testing with immediate suspensions since 1990 and we conduct approximately 12,000 steroids tests a year.''
Steinbrenner's comments came after Andy Pettitte met with reporters for the first time since the Yankees pitcher was named in the Mitchell Report. Two days after the report was released in December, Pettitte confirmed he used human growth hormone in 2002; two weeks ago, he told congressional investigators he also used HGH for one day in 2004.
``A lot of baseball people thought that baseball would be the last sport that it would be a problem in and probably just ignored it too long,'' Steinbrenner said. ``But the fact is it's been in football a long time and it's been in basketball, I'm sure. Why baseball is being singled out, I don't know. I don't know. I know all the excuses - `Well, it's America's game and it's the statistics.'
``That's not an excuse. If a sport is riddled with it, it's riddled with it. Why aren't they looking at the NFL?'' he said.
Steinbrenner said baseball will ``clean up the game.''
``We're going to do it,'' he said.
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