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Lawyers admit Canseco's steroid use

Associated Press
Published July 8, 2003

MIAMI - Former Devil Rays slugger Jose Canseco has a history of steroid abuse, his attorneys acknowledged Monday in an unsuccessful effort to have him hospitalized for an addiction evaluation.

Attorneys requested a three- to five-day hospital stay for a medical workup for the American League's 1988 MVP, who returned to jail for a July 21 hearing on a charge that he violated probation from a nightclub scuffle by using illegal steroids last month while serving two years of house arrest.

Canseco's attorneys deny he flunked a urine test June 3 but said in their Monday motion that he "admits that for a long time he utilized steroids."

"It appears that steroids can be as addictive as any other substance out there," Richard Rosenbaum, one of Canseco's attorneys, said in asking to extend a jail furlough. Canseco was released Wednesday for a weekend holiday visit with his 6-year-old daughter from Los Angeles.

Circuit Judge Leonard Glick denied the request, took Canseco into custody again and said he could pursue drug treatment programs through the jail.

The director of an undisclosed Miami addiction treatment program examined Canseco on Sunday and recommended a comprehensive inpatient medical, psychiatric and psychological examination.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Canseco has admitted using steroids during his career. He promised to reveal baseball's steroid secrets in a still-unpublished book.

Canseco, 39, had no comment as he surrendered in court. He and his attorneys shook their heads after the judge rejected their request.

"We're obviously disappointed with the court's ruling," Jayne Weintraub, another attorney for Canseco, said. "He's disappointed."

Asked for details of Canseco's drug use, Rosenbaum said, "I'm going to wait and let the experts talk about it down the road."

Prosecutor John Granoff argued against extending Canseco's time out of jail and reminded the judge of Canseco's two previous violent encounters in the 1990s.

"The state is skeptical when it sees a motion of this nature at this point in time," Granoff said. "Why didn't he get it (treatment) before the violation many years ago?"

Glick warned Canseco in March, after a violation for skipping visits with his probation officer, that he risked going to state prison for 15 years if there were more slips.

Before Canseco's recent arrest, twin brother Ozzie was arrested on a steroid possession charge while serving probation in the same Miami Beach nightclub encounter with two tourists in 2001.

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