Gonzalez on PEDs: Never used them

VEGA BAJA, Puerto Rico -- Two-time American League MVP Juan Gonzalez reaffirmed Monday that he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 17-year career in the majors.

In an interview with ESPNDeportes.com in Puerto Rico, Gonzalez said his and other players' legacies will forever be questioned after Jose Canseco wrote in 2005 that he introduced several players to steroids and PEDs and former Sen. George Mitchell produced a report for Major League Baseball in 2007 about the use of banned substances in the game.

"It will affect [us]," said Gonzalez, who plays for an amateur team in Vega Baja, a city 20 miles west of San Juan. "The media is going to be driven by this whenever my name and others are mentioned. I never used any of that stuff."

Gonzalez, an outfielder who spent 13 of his 17 seasons with the Texas Rangers, last played in the major leagues in 2005. He spent part of spring training in 2008 with the St. Louis Cardinals, but didn't play in the major leagues that season.

"I have nothing to hide," he said this week. "Nothing. And I offered to be tested, whenever they wanted. If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to worry [about]," Gonzalez said.

In addition to the Rangers, he also played for Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City and finished his career with 434 home runs, 1,404 RBIs and a .295 batting average.

Gonzalez brushed aside Canseco's allegations in 2005, saying: "It's not true. ... I never saw needles. I never saw pills. I never saw anything. ... The only guys who have put needles in my body are doctors."

Gonzalez also reserved some criticism for Bud Selig, who cleared the way for Mitchell to study the use of PEDs in baseball.

"This dilemma was caused when Canseco opened his mouth, but the commissioner is partly to blame," Gonzalez said. "Why did he throw away millions on that congressman [Mitchell]? What does Mitchell know about baseball? He never played baseball.

"Canseco is gone. He did it by himself, [not] to [Rafael] Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez or me. [Canseco] never gave us anything. He opened his mouth and wants to hurt the image of a lot of people."

Palmeiro testified under oath before Congress that he never used steroids during his career. Later, he tested positive for a steroid and served a 10-game suspension.

Gonzalez also sought to explain his relationship with Dominican trainer Angel Presinal, who has been banned from MLB clubhouses and ballparks because of his link to PEDs.

Presinal surfaced on baseball's security radar in October 2001 when he and Gonzalez were tied to an unmarked bag containing steroids discovered at the Toronto airport. Neither man was arrested, but MLB security officials informed all 30 clubs that Presinal was not welcome in any part of a ballpark where the public couldn't go.

Gonzalez said Presinal, whom he described as a friend, never offered him any substance as part of his training regimen.

"It's been a while since I saw him. Last time I saw him, it was at the Americas Championships here. I said hello to him and that was it," said Gonzalez, who clarified that Presinal was never his employee and worked for him on the advice of baseball agent Fernando Cussas.