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Statement from Gary Matthews Jr.03/14/2007 1:49 PM ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Gary Matthews Jr. released the following statement Wednesday morning:
At the outset of spring training, my name was linked in the press with reports involving an investigation of unlawful trafficking in Human Growth hormone dating back to 2004. HGH is a prescription drug that I understand can be abused. It is now on the list of banned substances in Major League Baseball, although it wasn't in 2004. As I have now learned, people have been recently arrested and charged with crimes for prescribing and selling HGH in illegal ways. I knew nothing about the current investigation before it hit the press. Naturally, I hired counsel and consulted with the players' union.
I don't condone the use of illegal drugs. I support Mr. Moreno's strong stand against them. I have never taken HGH -- during the 2004 season or any other time. Nobody has accused me of doing so, and no law enforcement authority has said I am a target of any investigation for doing so.
Before saying anything publicly I wanted to make absolutely sure of my ground. In particular, I needed to try to learn whether anybody in authority -- in or out of baseball -- felt they had reason to accuse me of anything with regard to HGH. If they did, I would have to deal with that. It has taken me, and those representing me, 16 days to make certain that's not the case. And that is why it has taken longer than I would have preferred to make a public statement.
I have been given a wonderful opportunity to play baseball with a great organization and I'm looking forward to a successful season with new teammates and fans.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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