Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on December 13, 2013
Mitchell Report

Mitchell Report

December 13, 2007: The Mitchell Report is publicly released. George Mitchell was a US Senator from Maine from 1980-1995, serving 6 years as Senate Majority Leader. He is a lawyer by profession and after serving in the Senate, went back to practicing law and has been active in peace initiatives at home and abroad. He was in the running for Democrat Vice Presidential candidate in 2000. He was Chairman of the Board for two years at The Walt Disney Company and Director in the front office for the Boston Red Sox, quitting in November 2006.

Mitchell was invited by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to head an independent investigation into steroid and growth hormone use. Mitchell’s investigation led him to speak with only two baseball players, but several known steroid dealers, personal trainers, club attendants, and others with ties to the drugs also spoke with investigators. Twenty months of inquiry led to 89 players being named as drug users in the 409-page report. The report also stated the abuse had been going on for decades.

Anabolic steroids are related to testosterone. They increase protein synthesis causing tissue to build – a process called anabolism. The tissue buildup is most noticeable in muscles. However, they also have androgenic and virilizing properties leading to greater masculinity, such as growth of body hair and vocal cords. They were first synthesized in the 1930s and were therapeutically used to treat wasting conditions such as cancer and later, AIDS. Because they also built muscle mass and physical strength, they began to be used by sports figures. There are decided health risks involved for long-term users. Growth hormones also stimulate growth and cell production and were used in conjunction with the steroids.

The report did not just look at the problems, but also gave 19 recommendations for solving them. Players’ reputations were tarnished by the report and some responded with outrage and denials. Mitchell and Selig worked toward maintaining the integrity of the game while not acting in a punitive manner towards those named in the report. Mitchell said 20-25 people from his office worked on the report. Although not officially noted, the cost of the report was said to be ≈ $20 million.

“The illegal use of performance-enhancing substances poses a serious threat to the integrity of the game. Widespread use by players of such substances unfairly disadvantages the honest athletes who refuse to use them and raises questions about the validity of baseball records.” – George Mitchell

“Many players are named, their reputations affected forever, even if it turns out down the road that they should not have been.” – Don Fehr

“This is a sad day for Major League Baseball but a good day for integrity in sports.” – Henry Waxman

“Let’s put it this way, the cost of not doing it would’ve been a lot higher.” – Bud Selig

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Some of the side effects of anabolic steroid use are dose-dependent. These can include raising of blood pressure and changing cholesterol levels. Blood sugar is also affected. Many users suffer from acne and balding can be a side effect, as well. High doses can cause liver damage. Some side effects are gender specific. Men can see increased breast tissue form as well as testicular atrophy as sperm production is lowered, leading also to infertility as well as sexual function issues. Women can see increased body hair, enlarged clitoris, and decreased menstrual cycles. Use during pregnancy can affect the fetus, causing gender problems. Teens are affected differently than adults and can have some severe side effects. Bones can stop lengthening as well as other skeletal problems. Steroids can have effects on sexual development. In all users, the heart muscle can be damaged which can lead to death. There are psychological effects as well and Roid Rage may be the result of neurological disruptions.

Also on this day: Maximum Insecurity – In 2000, seven violent offenders escape from the John Connally Unit, a maximum security prison in Texas.
Get Rael – In 1973, the Elohim reveal themselves to a human.
Tasman – In 1642, New Zealand was discovered by Europeans.


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