NEW YORK (AP) -Former major league infielder Fernando Vina on Monday admitted using human growth hormone in 2003 as he attempted to heal from injuries.
Vina, now an ESPN baseball analyst, was named last week in the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs. The report said he also purchased steroids from ex-New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, but Vina denied those claims.
``I never bought steroids from him. All I used was HGH,'' Vina said in an interview on ESPN.
An All-Star second baseman with Milwaukee in 1998, Vina also played for Seattle, the Mets, St. Louis and Detroit during a 12-year career that ended in 2004.
Slow to recover from knee and hamstring injuries, Vina played only 61 games for the Cardinals in 2003. He said he was under pressure from the team and himself to get back on the field, so he tried HGH.
``I tried everything rehabbing,'' Vina said. ``I came to a point that I was desperate.''
New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, also cited in the report, recently acknowledged using HGH for a similar reason - to try to recover from a sore elbow in 2002.
Backup catcher Gary Bennett, also named by Mitchell, said he took HGH in 2003 because of a knee injury. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Vina said he wasn't trying to bulk up - his job was to slap the ball around and use his quickness to get on base. He said he turned to HGH hoping to get healthy.
``Was it right? No. Obviously, it was wrong,'' Vina said. ``I'm embarrassed by it.''
He also said the drug didn't help him much. Vina played in only 29 games for the Tigers in 2004, his final season. He had played in at least 150 games in 2001 and 2002 with St. Louis.
``Bottom line, it was stupid. I'm embarrassed now, and it didn't help, either,'' Vina said.
He also said Mitchell's investigators never contacted him directly, but heard rumblings via his agent. Vina said he never spoke to Mitchell.
Vina said he met Radomski while with the Mets in 1994. Radomski pleaded guilty in April to selling performance-enhancing drugs to major leaguers. He provided information to former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell during his 20-month investigation.

Recent MLB Discussions

Advertisement

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Cardinals open definining set against Pirates   Thursday’s Cardinals-Reds series finale ended in the most controversial way possible. Is the Gateway City in for...
Thumbnail Mariners need another victory vs. visiting A's Seattle can’t quite control its own destiny with respect to reaching the playoffs. Yet Scott Servais’ crew won’t stop pushing for that first postseason...
Thumbnail O's inch closer to playoffs; Yanks in spoiler role Baltimore could have wilted following last week’s sweep at the hands of the AL East-leading Red Sox. Instead, Buck Showalter’s bunch is motoring full steam...
Thumbnail Giants' Cueto looks to snatch set from Rockies It’s not quite a must-win situation, but the Giants couldn’t be more excited to hand the ball to Johnny Cueto this evening.
Thumbnail A's try to thwart Mariners' playoff push The Mariners are among the hottest teams in baseball. Yet do they have enough time to creep into the playoffs?
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages