A former trainer convicted of dealing steroids, who says he supplied Mark McGwire with steroids in the late 1980s, told ESPN on Thursday that the slugger's goal was to get "bigger, faster, stronger" to improve his performance on the field, contradicting recent statements by McGwire, who said he used the drugs to maintain his health.
Curtis Wenzlaff, speaking to ESPN's "Outside the Lines," said he feels there is no doubt that the array of drugs he provided McGwire helped him become a more accomplished home run hitter.
"Will it help you hit a baseball?" Wenzlaff said. "Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus."
McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals declined to respond to Wenzlaff's interview, which will be featured on "Outside the Lines" on Sunday (9 a.m. ET, ESPN).
The New York Daily News reported in March 2005 that, before 1990, Wenzlaff provided McGwire with the following drug recipe: ½ cc of testosterone cypionate every three days; one cc of testosterone enanthate per week; one-quarter cc of Equipoise and Winstrol V, every three days -- each to be injected into the buttocks.
At the time, Wenzlaff would only confirm that he provided steroids to McGwire's former Oakland teammate Jose Canseco. But on Thursday, Wenzlaff confirmed what had been reported and confirmed by FBI sources and documents nearly five years earlier -- that he supplied the drugs to Canseco and McGwire -- and he added that the drugs were to help McGwire become a better baseball player, not to recover from an injury.
When asked for his reaction to McGwire's claim that he only took steroids to stay healthy enough to play, Wenzlaff said: "I chuckled. If excelling and kicking ass on the field is the end result I guess that's a healthy, good feeling. But for health, there are other things you can take for health that are anabolic, but it wouldn't be that type of combination."
When asked about McGwire's goal for taking the array of steroids he recommended and provided to McGwire, Wenzlaff said, "As anybody -- bigger, faster, stronger."
He also said that he thinks the combination of drugs he provided for McGwire would help McGwire's hand-eye coordination.
"When you implement into what you are doing -- for instance hitting -- an individualized, specialized program with muscle growth and explosiveness ... while you're on your drugs, it will improve your hand-eye coordination."
Dr. Gary Wadler, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency committee that draws up the list of banned substances, told the Associated Press earlier this month: "There's such a huge body of evidence that there's no question -- none -- whether anabolic steroids enhance performance. Period."
Wenzlaff was arrested in Operation Equine, a landmark anabolic steroids case that resulted in more than 70 trafficking convictions in the early 1990s. One informant told the Daily News in 2005 that Wenzlaff injected McGwire at a gym in Southern California on several occasions, although Wenzlaff said he couldn't recall the injections because it was more than 20 years ago.
T.J. Quinn is a reporter for ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.