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Drug Testing News

7 NY Mets Reportedly Smoked Marijuana


Fri Sep 20, 4:06 PM ET

NEW YORK (AP) - A newspaper reported Friday that at least seven New York Mets smoked marijuana this season, and manager Bobby Valentine acknowledged being worried about drug use on his team as far back as spring training.

"I've seen signals, but nothing definitive," Valentine told Newsday.

General manager Steve Phillips said the Mets "have no indication there is widespread drug use at any level of our organization."

"The Newsday report is based solely on anonymous sources," Phillips said in a statement Friday. "We urge these sources to come to us with proof of their accusations so that we can investigate them."

He denied a report in Newsday that minor leaguers were tipped off about supposedly random drug tests, calling the claim "ridiculous."

Former Mets reliever Mark Corey, traded to the Colorado Rockies in July, told Newsday he smoked marijuana just before having a seizure in a parking lot outside a hotel near Shea Stadium in June.

Several newspapers reported that Mets teammate Tony Tarasco, who drove Corey to the hotel and was with the pitcher when he was stricken, had used marijuana with Corey.

"After the one incident we had, I addressed the team about this stuff specifically, about how foolish it was, how it was illegal and how embarrassing it could be for it to continue," Valentine told Newsday.

Tarasco, Corey and reliever Grant Roberts are three of the seven players Newsday refers to in its story. The newspaper, which did not name any other Mets, cited sources close to the team alleging the drug use.

A top team official told Newsday that Valentine confronted Roberts about his suspected usage.

"It's hard enough to play this game if your brain is normal," Mets first baseman Mo Vaughn said. "I don't know if it's a problem on this team. I hope to God it's not.

"If there's something going on, we need to correct it."

New York (73-79), already eliminated from postseason consideration, is ending a disappointing season that began with talk of contending for the playoffs.

Major league players are not subjected to testing for marijuana. For the first time, players agreed to mandatory testing for steroids last month as part of the new labor agreement. The testing will start next year.

"We're committed to doing everything we can to let our players, on both the minor league and major league levels, know of the danger to their careers of using drugs," Phillips said Friday.

All-Star catcher Mike Piazza said the reported drug use would be "kind of disturbing" if it's true.

"I'm not against having fun," he said. "For me, it's having a few beers, if you're of age. You have to blow off steam somehow. But you'd think guys at this level would be completely focused on their careers."