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03/02/07 4:36 PM ET
Hairston defends reputation after report
Utilityman denies alleged link to performance-enhancing drugs
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers utilityman Jerry Hairston expressed shock and extreme disappointment on Friday that his name has been linked with performance-enhancing drugs. Sports Illustrated posted a story on its Web site Friday that reported Hairston received a shipment of Genotropin from Allied Pharmacy in Mobile, Ala., in May 2004. Genotropin is a form of human growth hormone. Sports Illustrated cited a law enforcement document that said a doctor, A. Almarashi of Queens, N.Y., prescribed Geontropin that was sent from Allied Pharmacy in May 2004 to Hairston, who was with the Orioles at the time. "I have never taken steroids ever," Hairston said, before the Rangers played the Royals on Friday. "I have never taken anything illegal. Period. I want to squash that right now. "My reputation speaks for itself. The last couple of years, we've been tested for everything, and I have never ever tested positive for anything. I don't know what this is all about. I have been in the big leagues since 1999 and I've gained five or 10 pounds in that time. Strength is not my game." Hairston is close friends with Gary Matthews Jr., who has also been linked with the latest investigation that resulted from law enforcement authorities raiding an alleged illegal steroids distribution center in Florida. "There's no proof of me taking anything, [but] now we have to defend ourselves," Hairston said. "I have never taken steroids, not before we got tested and not since we got tested. I have stayed clear of all that stuff. My conscience is clear." "Shock is not the word," he said. "It's amazing. Even when you're innocent, you think back on things over the course of time. All I can say is look at me, look at my body and look at my reputation. It's so sad. I wish I could defend myself because it hurts my reputation." Hairston is from a three-generation baseball family. His grandfather, Sam Hairston, played for the Chicago White Sox in 1951 after a distinguished career in the Negro Leagues. He was the first African-American to play for the White Sox. Hairston's father, Jerry Sr., played for the White Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1973-89, and his uncle, John, played briefly for the Chicago Cubs in 1969. The Rangers acquired Hairston from the Cubs in a trade for Phil Nevin on May 31, 2006. He became a free agent after the season and was re-signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He hit a career-high eight home runs with the Orioles in 2001 and has 30 home runs in 2,375 career at-bats. His career slugging percentage is .362. Last year, he combined to bat .206 with no home runs and 10 RBIs in 170 at-bats with the Cubs and the Rangers. "I'm not a superstar," Hairston said. "How do I defend myself? My family has a great reputation and I've worked extremely hard to get where I'm at. To have this happen, it's not fair." Hairston has spoken briefly about the article with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. "We have not been contacted by anybody and I'm not going to speculate on a report," Daniels said. "We take anything that involves illegal substances seriously but it's an unconfirmed report. I spoke to [Jerry] briefly and he was very clear with us that he has never taken anything illegal. We'll leave it at that for now."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.