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Mitchell Outlines Decade of Doping in Baseball

Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell says that steroid use has been widespread in Major League Baseball for at least the past 10 years, but has recommended leniency in punishing the drug users.

In a crowded news conference in New York Thursday, Mitchell said that each of the 30 clubs have had a player or players who used steroids or human growth hormone.

New York Yankees' pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte and Houston's Miguel Tejada were among those named, as was all-time home run king Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants.

However, Mitchell said commissioner Bud Selig should not punish those players who used drugs in the past except in the case of those who have so seriously violated the rules that the commissioner must act to protect the integrity of the game.

The report comes after 20 months of investigations by Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor and a member of the Boston Red Sox board of directors.

Commissioner Selig hired Mitchell in March of 2006 after the publication of a book alleging drug use by Barry Bonds.

Bonds has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and perjury charges in connection with his testimony before a grand jury investigating the so-called BALCO case.

BALCO was a San Francisco area laboratory that was found to have given steroids and other drugs to several high-level athletes, including former sprint star Marion Jones and New York Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.