Ex-Major Leaguer Vina admits HGH use
ESPN analyst says he did it to heal, denies taking steroids
Former Cardinals infielder Fernando Vina on Monday said he used human growth hormone in 2003 to try to recover from injuries, according to an ESPN.com report.
Vina said he never bought steroids from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, despite claims to the contrary in the Mitchell Report released last week.
"In 2003, I did use HGH," Vina said during an interview with ESPN's Bob Ley.
In the report, Radomski said he sold to Vina, who played for the Cardinals from 2000-03 and currently serves as an analyst on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," anabolic steroids or HGH "six to eight times during 2000 to 2005."
The report said Radomski had three checks from Vina -- one in March 2003 for HGH, one from April 2003 for steroids and one in July 2005 for Deca-Durabolin.
According to the ESPN.com report, Vina told ESPN that he knew Radomski from his time with the Mets and tried HGH after injurying his knee and hamstring in 2003.
Vina said he felt pressure to get back on the field, not wanting to let down his team or himself, according to the ESPN.com report.
Vina said he tried HGH to heal himself, not to build bulk.
"For me, it was to try to get back on the field," Vina said to ESPN. "That was the bottom line. Was it right? No. Obviously, it was wrong. ... I'm embarrassed by it."
Vina also told ESPN the HGH didn't work. The infielder played 29 games in '04 and 61 in '03 after playing more than 150 games the previous two seasons.
Vina disputed claims in the Mitchell Report that he used steroids.
"I never used steroids," Vina said to ESPN. "I never bought steroids from him. All I used was HGH."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.