LOS ANGELES -- Lenny Dykstra, a key cog in the New York Mets World Series title in 1986 and the Philadelphia Phillies National League pennant in 1993, is being accused of steroid use and illegal gambling, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Lindsay Jones, a longtime friend and business partner, is suing Dykstra to regain an interest in their lucrative Southern California car wash business. In the lawsuit, Jones alleges Dykstra advised him to gamble an average of $2,000 per game on select Phillies contests in 1993.
In a sworn statement, Jones said his baseball wagers were a form of payment to him, made "on the basis that Lenny would cover all losses, and I would use the winnings to live on."
Dykstra's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, told the Times the three-time All-Star "absolutely denies" the allegation, calling it "unsubstantiated" and "a fabricated story from a disgruntled partner."
The suit also includes a sworn statement from Florida bodybuilder and convicted drug dealer Jeff Scott, who alleges Dykstra paid him $20,000 plus "special perks" over eight years to "bulk-up" the former ballplayer.
The lawsuit, filed last year in Ventura County Superior Court,
is in binding arbitration and a decision is expected this week.
In an interview, Scott said he injected Dykstra with steroids "more times than I can count," and that Dykstra stepped up his steroid use in spring training of 1993 because "it was a contract year."
That year, Dykstra led the National League in hits, walks and
runs, nearly doubled his previous high in home runs, finished
second to Barry Bonds for most valuable player and led Philadelphia
to the World Series.
After the season, he signed a multiyear contract worth almost
$25 million, making him baseball's highest-paid leadoff batter.
Petrocelli, citing Scott's criminal past, told the Times the steroid allegation was not "reliable or credible," and called the former bodybuilder "biased and aligned with Jones." In the past, Dykstra has denied using steroids.
Petrocelli said the allegations by Jones and Scott are an effort to sensationalize the lawsuit and pressure Dykstra into a settlement. "It's not appropriate that they are using this lawsuit to advance these arguments in an effort to collect money," the attorney told the paper.
In his lawsuit, Jones cites Dykstra's alleged steroid use and
gambling involvement as evidence of financial irresponsibility that
endangers the car wash business, which paid Jones $167,000 in 2003.
Dykstra fired Jones in September 2003, but Jones contends he still
has a financial interest in the business.
Dykstra's lawyers say in court documents that Jones quit the
three car washes after he was confronted about raiding cash
registers, demanding kickbacks from contractors and using business
funds to pay off his gambling debts.
Jones' attorney, Michael McCaffrey, declined comment to The
Associated Press, citing a gag order.
According to the Times report, Scott said Dykstra took five types of steroids in 1993 and after that year Dykstra began taking testosterone and human growth hormone injections.
Baseball did not ban steroids until 2002, though the substances
became illegal in 1991 unless prescribed by a physician.
Rich Levin, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said Dykstra
could be subject to a permanent ban from the game if an
investigation found that he had advised baseball bets while
playing. Baseball is not investigating Dykstra, Levin added,
explaining that he has no current connection to baseball.
Dykstra had a brush with baseball authorities in 1991 over his ties to a poker room operator in Mississippi, drawing a one-year probation.
"He promised he would stop associating with the gamblers and told me, 'You can check on me every week,' " former commissioner Fay Vincent told the paper. "We did. He was clean."
Dykstra, 42, retired in 1996 after a 12-year career with the
Phillies and Mets.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.