Sunday, June 18, 2006
Transcript: David Segui's interview with ESPN
David Segui, in an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on Saturday, admitted that his was one of the names redacted in an IRS affidavit that claims Jason Grimsley received two kits of human growth hormone. Portions of that conversation, which was part of ESPN's Outside The Lines on Sunday morning, follow:
David Segui: I didn't have to read too far into the affidavit before I recognized a conversation that he had and I had had. So, you know, immediately I realized that my name was one of the first names that was tossed out there ... The more I thought about it, it irritated me that, you know, personal, you know, conversation, a conversation that we had was, you know, was shared with these agents.
Segui played 15 seasons, with seven different teams through 2004. His career batting average was .291 and he earned more than $40 million as a big leaguer. Segui now says he is the player his former teammate Grimsley identified to federal agents as an HGH user and as the friend who recommended a doctor who could prescribe HGH.
Jeremy Schaap: If you would, describe what it was like reading that and seeing this conversation you had recreated in the affidavit.
Segui: It was almost word for word the conversation we had, except there's a couple key words that were left out. You know, "legal" was one of the major -- probably the most major omission in the affidavit. You know, made no mention that I was, you know, deemed human growth hormone deficient through blood work on a pre-op blood work that I had taken. That's how I found out that I was actually at the bottom of the level, the lowest level, in -- you know, the doctor put me on human growth hormone, monitored my levels, monitored blood level, blood work periodically, regularly ... I was under doctor's prescription, under doctor's supervision.
Schaap: So just to be clear, while the affidavit suggests that you were taking human growth hormone illegally, in fact, you were taking it legally?
Segui: Perfectly legal. I was having surgery. I went in for pre-op blood work. In the course of the blood work and the physical, you know, the doctor goes over your medical history. I've had a long history of surgery after surgery ...
... [The doctor] tested. It came back almost off the chart low. He explained to me that that actually could have contributed to, uhm, my body breaking down. I have arthritic knees. I showed you my wrist, where I had a couple surgeries on that. It was already arthritic. I felt like a 90-year-old man.
Taking HGH, Segui says, he felt like a new man, so much so that he continues to use it -- with a prescription -- two years after he last played in the major leagues. This past winter, his former teammate Grimsley asked Segui about using HGH himself.
Segui: Jason was coming back from Tommy John surgery. He expressed, you know, a desire to use -- to try human growth hormone to heal his elbow, to get him back on the field ... I told him, he knew that I was on it legally. I told him, I was speaking as a friend, if you're going to do this, go to the doctor, get your levels checked to see where they're at ... Do it under the doctor's supervision. And my exact words to him were, if you're going to do it, do it the right way.
Schaap: After that, did you ever have any conversations with Jason about whether he'd gone to the doctor?
Segui: Oh, no. I knew -- I knew he hadn't gone, 'cause I'm in regular contact with that doctor, so I knew he hadn't gone. But, you know, I didn't know he was, you know, taking anything. I knew he was working really, really hard, you know, all winter long to come back from that surgery.
By his own attorney's admission, Grimsley did indeed start taking HGH. In April federal agents allegedly intercepted two HGH kits that were mailed to Grimsley. Segui says he has no knowledge of Grimsley's supplier.
Schaap: Have you had a chance to talk to Jason recently?
Segui: We had a couple-minute conversation maybe four, five days ago ...
Schaap: What was the nature of that discussion?
Segui: Well, he was -- he was basically clearing up -- clearing the air on why my name was even mentioned. You know, that was one of the first things I wanted to know, is, you know, why it was my business, you know, being thrown out in the street. And, you know, he gave me a valid, you know, explanation. In the affidavit, it states that the investigator stated that the -- that the drug was only prescribed to people who suffer from dwarfism and HIV. Jason told me that the reason my name came up was that he was disputing that because I know David Segui gets it legally through a doctor in Florida.
Schaap: Your name's been redacted. It's blacked out in the affidavit. Maybe people would find out; maybe they wouldn't. Why come forward?
Segui: One is because I know. Two, eventually names are going to leak out, and I don't want to have to make a public statement after the names leak out explaining myself ... if I knew a guy was named -- knew his name was in that affidavit, for a month or so, never made a statement, I'd question -- I'd question why ... I truly don't feel like I have anything to hide.
Schaap: You wanted to get out in front of it. But also, you know, it seems like you're trying to maybe help out some other guys, saying HGH isn't such a bad thing.
Segui: I'm not saying that at all. Major Leagues has banned it, banned steroids, banned amphetamines. You know, you live by the rulings. If that's what the rules are, then they're illegal. Whether you agree with it or not, those are the rules. So, no, I'm not in any way downplaying the severity of it.
When he sat down to be interviewed, Segui said he would only address questions about his appearance in the affidavit and his use of HGH.
Schaap: Obviously, they're aggressively going after some people in baseball, including Jason Grimsley. You're someone named in an affidavit. What do you think about that?
Segui: ... I'm sure they're going to pursue all those names, see where they lead.
Schaap: Has anyone contacted you?
Segui: No, not yet ... I'm sure, you know, that day will probably come.
Schaap: And then what happens?
Segui: I answer their questions like I'm answering yours.