Schilling: PED path raised in 2008

Buster Olney blogs about Major League Baseball's ongoing problem with performance-enhancing drugs.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Thursday that someone in the organization told him performance-enhancing drugs were an option for him as he tried to work his way back from a shoulder injury in 2008.


Schilling did not identify the person, but ruled out specific individuals and groups and clarified it was just one individual.

"It wasn't anybody in uniform, it wasn't (then-general manager) Theo (Epstein), it wasn't (then-manager Terry Francona), it wasn't (then-assistant GM) Jed Hoyer, it wasn't one of the owners," Schilling told ESPN on Thursday after creating a stir the day before by telling ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd it was "former members of the organization" who broached the topic with him.

"It was somebody that was involved in the day to days," Schilling continued Thursday. "It wasn't (head trainer) Paul Lessard, it wasn't (massage therapist) Russell Nua or (medical operations coordinator) Jim Rowe or anybody."

Schilling, now an ESPN analyst, noted Thursday that the conversation actually spurred the investigation by Major League Baseball at the time.

"Someone in the front office became aware of the conversation and went to MLB," he said. "And there was a conversation that I had to have with people from Major League Baseball about this conversation. From that perspective the process worked."

MLB confirmed an investigation in a statement Friday.


"At the time of the incident in question in 2008, the Boston Red Sox immediately reported the allegations to Major League Baseball as required by our investigative protocols," the statement read. "Once the Red Sox reported the matter, Major League Baseball assumed sole responsibility for the investigation. The club handled the matter consistent with all MLB rules and requirements and in a manner that was above reproach.

"Major League Baseball thoroughly investigated the allegations and considers the matter closed."

Schilling, who had signed a one-year contract with Boston in 2008 but did not pitch that season due to the shoulder injury, said the conversation happened sometime in the middle of that season.

"It was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue," Schilling said Wednesday on ESPN Radio.

Schilling said the conversation could be overheard by several teammates and made him uncomfortable.

"It was an incredibly uncomfortable conversation," he said. "Because it came up in the midst of a group of people. The other people weren't in the conversation, but they could clearly hear the conversation. And it was suggested to me that at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? Because if I wasn't going to get healthy, it didn't matter. And if I did get healthy, great.

"It caught me off guard, to say the least. That was an awkward situation."

Schilling officially retired from baseball in March 2009.

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