Former Canadian baseball star admits to HGH use
Published Monday, February 22, 2010 11:11AM EST
One of the most accomplished Canadian baseball players of all-time has admitted to using human growth hormone during the peak of his career.
Eric Gagne, 34, came clean to the Los Angeles Times as he prepared to make a comeback with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I did," he answered to columnist T.J Simer's inquiry into whether he used HGH.
"I hate to talk about it. It just doesn't do anyone any good. But I thought it would help me get better when I hurt my knee. I just don't want that to sound as an excuse.
"I'm so ashamed. It wasn't smart. If I knew what I know now. . . . I didn't need it. I regret it so much, just now maybe getting over the guilt. It was stupid."
The Quebec native was the most feared closer in baseball from 2002 to 2004, winning the National League Cy Young award in 2003 and closing a mind-boggling 84 games in a row without a blown save over three seasons.
But injuries and various surgeries grounded his career starting in 2005. He eventually bounced around the league, before last playing in 2008. In 2009, he played in an independent league.
Gagne's name was first linked to drug use in 2007 when he was named in the Mitchell report, a study on doping commissioned by Major League Baseball. The report accused Gagne of receiving human growth hormone in 2004.
Gagne was pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers when the report came out, and he apologized to his teammates for "a distraction that shouldn't be taking place'' but didn't directly address the allegation.