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Curt Schilling says Red Sox staff encouraged him to use PEDs

02/07/2013 2:26 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Curt Schilling was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012.(AP)
Curt Schilling dropped a bombshell on the baseball world on Wednesday, saying during an interview on ESPN Radio that “former members of the Red Sox organization” encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs at the end of his career.

“At the end of my career, in 2008 when I had gotten hurt, there was a conversation that I was involved in in which it was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue,” Schilling told host Colin Cowherd, saying that it was “an incredibly uncomfortable conversation” that occurred in the clubhouse in front of several others.

Schilling, who spent his final four seasons with the Red Sox, last pitched in 2007 and battled shoulder problems throughout his Red Sox career. He was unable to pitch at all in 2008 and eventually retired after shoulder surgery, but intimated that the organization made the request with somewhat of an ultimatum in mind.

“It came up in the midst of a group of people; the other people weren’t in the conversation but they could clearly hear the conversation,” Schilling said, “and it was suggested to me that at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? If I wasn’t going to get healthy, it didn’t matter, and if I did get healthy, great.”

Never one to shy away from candor, Schilling’s claim comes just days after several Major Leaguers were implicated as possible recipients of PED distribution from the now-closed Biogenesis clinic in Miami.

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, who successfully appealed a positive test for banned substances last winter and had a 50-game suspension revoked, was one of the names tied to Biogenesis, and Schilling questioned both Braun’s denial – and the entire landscape – later in the interview.

“This is getting to a point where you almost have to treat every player under the same blanket,” Schilling said. “I want to believe that Ryan Braun didn’t. I want to believe that his explanation is legit. [But Biogenesis owner Anthony Bosch], clearly he’s not a doctor. I think they made it very clear in the article that he’s not a doctor. So why would [Braun's] agents be using him as an expert witness to testify to the T/E ratios and the possibilities of tampering with samples?”

Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino told MLB.com that he was “surprised” by Schilling’s statement, and will investigate despite Schilling saying those who encouraged him are no longer with the club.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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