Jan. 14, 2006
Wichita Eagle

Were the 1999 Royals using steroids?

You'd never have guessed it by their record: The Royals finished a woeful 64-97 that season, 32 games behind the first-place Cleveland Indians.

But Royals slugger Mike Sweeney said on talk radio Friday and to the Kansas City Star that he was approached by friends on the team who had "the juice."

Sweeney told the Star later Friday that he has never taken steroids.

"There would have been no repercussions back then," Sweeney said by phone from California. "There was no testing like that. But I knew in my heart it was wrong, and I had my faith to get me through it."

Sweeney said he also has no intentions of naming those who may have been using steroids.

"We are a family in the clubhouse," he said. "What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse. It's like that saying about Vegas -- what happens there, stays there.

"I also don't want to give the impression that there was rampant usage back then. There wasn't. In my 11-year career, I may have known four or five guys who might have been doing it. That's it."

As bad as the Royals were in 1999, that team did perform well offensively, batting .282 with a then-franchise-high 856 runs scored.

"I took a stand, and when I speak to kids -- to the D.A.R.E. program or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- I tell them, 'Look, I'm drug-free and I mean it when I say it,'" Sweeney said.

Players on the 1999 Royals:

Carlos Febles
Joe Randa
Rey Sanchez
Johnny Damon
Carlos Beltran
Jermaine Dye
Jeremy Giambi