Bagwell denies ties to gym owner Blair
Astros great insists he has no attachment to steroids reports
HOUSTON -- Jeff Bagwell's name surfaced in a recent report regarding Houston-area gym owner Kelly Blair, and on Sunday, the former Astros first baseman made it clear he has no ties to Blair or his Pasadena gym, 1-on-1 Elite Personal Fitness.
"I've never met the guy, I have no idea who he is, I've never been to his gym," Bagwell said during a phone interview with MLB.com.
On Sunday, the New York Daily News, citing unnamed sources, reported that Blair often bragged to friends and clients who worked out at his Pasadena gym that he supplied performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, including Bagwell, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.
According to the report, Blair, according to a source, "regaled visitors to his Pasadena gym with stories about providing drugs" to the three, who were teammates as Astros in 2004 and 2005.
A friend with close ties to Blair, according to the report, said Blair "wanted to be known as the guy behind the professional athletes."
That report contradicts Blair's recent comments to ESPN.com, where he revealed he told two FBI agents he never supplied HGH to Clemens or Tom Pettitte, Andy's father. Blair also indicated he never met Clemens.
Bagwell's agent, Barry Axelrod, first addressed the question of Bagwell's possible involvement with Blair in March after a Daily News report indicated the agent has spoken to investigators about whether Bagwell had ties to Blair or to Tom Pettitte, who allegedly received human growth hormone from Blair.
Axelrod reiterated to MLB.com on Sunday that Bagwell told him he does not know Blair and has never been to Blair's gym.
Bagwell has never been questioned by official investigators throughout the steroid scandal fallout that began after the Mitchell Report was released on Dec. 13. Several people have been questioned by federal authorities since Clemens filed his defamation suit against trainer Brian McNamee, but Bagwell has never been approached.
Additionally, Bagwell was not contacted by the Mitchell commission prior to the release of the report. Bagwell is currently employed by the Astros as a special assistant and likely would have been mandated by the team to cooperate with Mitchell investigators. Active players were advised by the Players Association to not cooperate if asked.
In the Daily News report on Feb. 29, Axelrod was quoted as saying he was contacted by an "overzealous federal investigator on a fishing expedition." Axelrod denies making the statement, categorizing the party who contacted him as an independent party who was "theorizing there were some overzealous federal agents trying to stir things up."
"No [federal investigators have] contacted us," Axelrod said.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.