Longtime San Diego Padres slugger Tony Gwynn came clean with federal investigators today, on the eve of his entry into Cooperstown, admitting that he never took steroids. "My sculpted physique helped avert suspicion for years," said Gwynn to syndicated reporter Francois Rabelais, "but I couldn't live with my conscience anymore. It wasn't even illegal when I wasn't doing it, but the guilt..." Gwynn trailed off at this point in his statement, seemingly choking back tears.
In a move reminiscent of Mike Piazza's shocking 2002 revelation that he wasn't actually gay, Gwynn finally "came out of the closet," so to speak, on the issue that has dogged him since even before 2005, when he told a congressional committee that he "wasn't going to talk about the past"; another suspected non-user Greg Maddux, who is renowned for his physical fitness, suddenly found himself unable to speak English at the same hearing, while several others stonewalled the investigators.
Suspicions have long been raised about Gwynn, whose expanding waistline towards the end of his career marked a divergence from the MLB's marked trend towards - preferably drug-enhanced - physical perfection. "I thought he might not be using," said former Gwynn teammate Ken Caminiti. "He was always watching those game films, always studying - you could tell that something wasn't quite right."
After months of soul-searching, the now-portly former slugger said, he decided to cooperate fully with the investigation. In a prepared statement, Gwynn announced that, "I have decided to not only admit to my actions, but also to name names; I will submit a list of players who never took steroids, and leave the rest up to the good judgement of those who have conscientiously ignored this matter to this point."
Early rumors suggest that those Gwynn might implicate could include former teammate David Wells, seven time all-star Ichiro Suzuki, and now-deceased slugger Jimmie Foxx, among others.