Exclusive: Jose Canseco Says 'The Truth Hurts'
Canseco on Allegations in His New Book, Why He Thinks Clemens Was 'Telling the Truth'
By KATIE ESCHERICH
March 26, 2008
In an exclusive interview with "Nightline" co-anchor Martin Bashir, Jose Canseco talks about the explosive allegations in his new book, including his claim that he put star New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez in touch with a trainer who was also a supplier of steroids.
He did this, Canseco claimed, after Rodriguez asked him "where one would go to get steroids if one wanted them."
In the book, Canseco claims this took place "in the latter half of the 1990s."
Canseco acknowledged to Bashir that he does not know whether the trainer -- whom he calls "Max" -- actually provided steroids to Rodriguez.
"I cannot bet my life on it & that Alex Rodriguez ever used steroids," he told Bashir, "but in my opinion, I suspect he has, yes."
When challenged by Bashir to identify "Max" or to provide other evidence to support his claims, Canseco said "the timing's not right."
"That's just not a good enough answer," Bashir said. "Why don't you produce the evidence?"
"Let's see how Alex reacts to this," Canseco said. "Let's see how Alex reacts. Let's see if they call me a liar again. How's that for ya? Let's see if all of a sudden they're gonna call me a liar again."
Canseco also repeated to Bashir his allegation that he thought Rodriguez was pursuing a relationship with Canseco's then-wife Jessica.
When questioned about the severity of the allegations against Rodriguez and other players in the book, "Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars and the Battle to Save Baseball," Canseco said that "the truth hurts; that's all I can say."
Tuesday, Rodriguez reacted to Canseco's allegations, saying, according to published reports, "I really, absolutely, have no reaction." Of the claim about Canseco's wife, he said, "I don't know how to answer that."
When asked by Bashir why Rodriguez would seek out steroids when he was already performing at a high level, Canseco replied, "I have no idea. You should be asking him that."
The book also addressed other players, including Roger Clemens, as well as the 1998 party that became the focus of Clemens' testimony before Congress. Canseco insisted that Clemens did not attend that party. Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee said in the Mitchell Report that Clemens first approached him about steroids shortly after McNamee saw him talking to Canseco at the party.
"Roger was never in my home," Canseco told Bashir.
In the book, Canseco wrote that he long suspected that Clemens had used steroids, but that he now believes Clemens did not use them. Canseco told Bashir, "If I were an investigator and I had to go on pure evidence that I have on Roger Clemens or dealt with Roger Clemens over time, then I would say no."
In answer to Bashir's question, "So you don't believe he did?" Canseco repeated his answer, "No."
Clemens' testified before the congressional committee that "I have never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other type of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I think these types of drugs should play no role in athletics at any level."
Canseco told Bashir, "I thought he was telling the truth. I watched it. I thought he was, you know, honest about everything. I thought he was sincere, and I feel sorry for him because our system is putting the greatest pitcher of our era through this. It's the mark of our times. They're not good."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.