Alleged steroid user Jason Giambi has admitted to having a “personal history regarding steroids” during his meeting with the Mitchell Investigation regarding performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, but has avoided a suspension from Commissioner Bud Selig. Sighting Giambi’s significant charitable work and agreement to meet with the Investigation, Selig felt that a lengthy suspension, or a suspension of any kind really, was unnecessary for the New York Yankee slugger.
“He’s doing a lot of public-service work, and I think that’s terribly important,” Selig said. “I think it’s more important for us to keep getting the message out. He was, I thought, very frank and candid with Sen. Mitchell, at least that was the senator’s conclusion. Given everything, this is an appropriate decision.”
Giambi met with the Mitchell Investigation on July 13th, becoming the first active player to speak with the group. The exact testimony is not known at this time, but it has become clear that he did admit to using steroids in the past.
“It’s over and done with. I’m thrilled with it. He did what he needed to do — now I can go forward,” Giambi said. “I can go forward and not hurt the ballclub with a suspension.”
Giambi has been accused of using steroids ever since he joined the Yankees following an MVP season in 2000 and finishing second (behind Ichiro Suzuki) in 2001 while playing with the Oakland A’s. In his MVP season, Giambi hit .333 with 43 home runs and 137 RBI and followed it up the next season hitting .342 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI. He then left the Bay Area for the Pinstripes in New York, signing a 7-year $120 million contract, with a $17 million signing bonus. Hitting .317 with 41 home runs and 107 RBI in his first season, it appeared that Giambi was going to be well worth the money. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
Giambi became sick with some sort of alien in his stomach during the 2004 season, forcing him to miss 82 games. He returned stronger the following season and hit 32 home runs in 139 games. Playing in the same number of games in the 2005 season, Giambi hit 37 home runs and drove in 113, though his .253 batting average was well below what he hit in Oakland. This season, Giambi had some torn tissue in his foot, which forced him to miss 2 months of the season. He met with the Mitchell Investigation while on the Disabled List, but he is back now and ready to focus on the remainder of the season.