The late Tommy McKenna took the urine sample from Dwight Gooden in the clubhouse at Huggins-Stengel Field in old downtown St. Petersburg, Florida one morning in March of 1987. It was the fateful test that revealed Gooden had been using cocaine. It had been part of his contract at the time. He could have said no, not today, but he gave McKenna the specimen. Days later his public battle with cocaine would become public. Doc had to know at the time the test would be positive. McKenna maintained for many years afterward that Gooden’s willingness to take the test had been a cry for help.
Gooden returned to the Mets in June after serving a suspension. As part of his return, he was required to take mandatory tests administered by the commissioner. Tests were administered both on the road and at home. A witness for the ball club was required along with the commissioner’s administrator. From the years 1987 through the end of the 1991 season that person was either me or my boss, head trainer Steve Garland. We signed a document after Gooden supplied the sample in our presence. No person would have been able to switch a sample afterward as they were sealed in our presence and we signed the sealed packaging.
I was let go after the 1991 season and Gooden’s time with the Mets ended after the 1994 season – Garland’s last. Sam McCrary served as assistant – a man I know well. Although I was not there, I’m comfortable in saying that Garland – or Gooden for that matter would have allowed anyone besides Garland or McCrary to witness Gooden’s drug test for the ball club. That person would never have been a man who served as a clubhouse attendant as Kirk Radomski is quoted as saying in an interview with ESPN.
Garland was extremely protective and fond of Gooden. I shared those same feelings and I imagine that McCrary was the same. He also cared for Gooden in the minor leagues. Needless to say, its unlikely that Garland would ever have anyone besides himself or McCrary to witness Gooden’s test.
While it is true that Go0den sadly lapsed into cocaine use during the 1994 season that resulted in a positive test administered by the commissioner’s office, Radomski’s interview opens a can of worms of ramifications of which are impossible to calculate. He’s lost his credibility. As he’s not telling the truth about Doc Gooden, it’s easy to ask whether of not he’s telling the truth about about anything else.