Former player Laker expresses remorse over his use of steroids

Monday, March 3, 2008

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Overwhelmed with regret and pained by a shortsighted decision he wishes he could take back, Tim Laker began moving away from his tainted past.

Laker, a former major league catcher who admitted in the Mitchell Report that he injected himself with steroids to gain an edge, expressed sadness and deep remorse Sunday as he discussed cheating the game he loves.

"I made a poor decision, a mistake," a contrite and ashamed Laker said. "And all I can do is ask for forgiveness and move on."

One of more than 80 current and former players named in the report, Laker played with Montreal, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Cleveland from 1992 to 2005. He managed in the Indians' minor league system last year, but decided not to this season partly because of health concerns. He's currently a roving catching instructor for Cleveland.

The 38-year-old Laker was diagnosed in 1992 with colitis, a digestive disease, and he'd had other serious health issues, nearly dying in 2001 when his pancreas became infected. Laker doesn't think his steroid use is tied to any of his health problems, including a hospital stay this winter because of another bout with colitis.

Laker told George Mitchell's investigators that he met admitted steroid distributor Kirk Radomski, a former New York Mets clubhouse employee, when he was with the Expos. The two were introduced by Laker's teammate, David Segui.

In the report, Laker said he purchased Deca-Durabolin and testosterone during the late 1990s. He had first considered using steroids before the 1995 season and did research by reading magazines and talking to individuals outside the game about the effects.

Looking back, he wished he had considered other consequences.

"I probably didn't think about it enough and probably didn't think of the ramifications 12 years down the road," he said.

Laker opened his interview session by discussing the discomfort his link to the Mitchell Report has caused his family. Clearing his throat, he nervously described having to look his 16-year-old stepson, Brando, in the eye after the report was issued.

He expressed similar distress that his wife and mother have endured questions.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: