03/30/2006 2:47 PM ET
Selig announces probe of BALCO allegations
Senator Mitchell to lead investigation
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that he has authorized an investigation into reported steroid use by Major League Baseball players associated with the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO). Selig has selected former U.S. Senator George Mitchell to lead the investigation.
Senator Mitchell and a team of investigators will have complete autonomy in investigating the allegations of the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by Major League players that have surfaced in the government's case against the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO). Senator Mitchell will also have the authority to pursue the investigation wherever he deems necessary.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Senator Mitchell will prepare a report of his findings that will be made public.
"Nothing is more important to me than the integrity of the game of baseball," Commissioner Selig said. "The unique circumstances surrounding BALCO and the evidence revealed in a recently published book have convinced me that Major League Baseball must undertake this investigation.
"Senator Mitchell is one of the most respected public figures in the nation. His career in public service is beyond reproach and his integrity and leadership ability are beyond question. Major League Baseball is fortunate and pleased to have a person of such high character and acclaim to lead this investigation."
Senator Mitchell said: "I accept the responsibility placed on me by the Commissioner in full recognition of the seriousness of the many issues raised by the task. The allegations arising out of the BALCO investigation that Major League players have used steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs have caused fans and observers to question the integrity of play at the highest level of our national game. These allegations require close scrutiny."
Senator Mitchell, a former Federal Judge and United State Attorney, is now a partner at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. He and members of his law firm will be assisted by Jeffrey Collins, a former United States Attorney and now a partner in the Detroit office of Foley & Lardner, as well as Thomas Carlucci, a former Assistant United States Attorney and now a partner in the San Francisco office of Foley & Lardner.
Senator Mitchell served the public as a Senator from Maine (1980-1995) and as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995. He has had extensive investigative experience, having led numerous criminal investigations as a United States Attorney. Senator Mitchell also led the United States Olympic Committee's investigation into allegations of impropriety in the bidding process in connection with the selection of Salt Lake City for the 2002 winter games.
In 1996, the governments of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland asked Senator Mitchell to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell led the negotiations for two years, work that ultimately resulted in an accord that ended decades of conflict. In May 1998, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by voters in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. He received numerous awards and honors recognizing his service in the peace talks, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 17, 1999.
Also, at the request of President Bill Clinton and Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Senator Mitchell served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The Committee's recommendation, widely known as the Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush Administration, the European Union, and many other governments.
A lifetime baseball fan, Senator Mitchell currently is on the Board of Directors of the Boston Red Sox. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Walt Disney Company.