Mitchell says steroids interviews under way

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PORTLAND (AP) – Baseball investigators have started interviews in the steroids investigation headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

“We’ve begun the process,” Mitchell said Tuesday before a speech at the University of Southern Maine on globalism and its impact on America. “A team of lawyers and investigators are in the process of conducting interviews. We’re going to follow the evidence wherever it leads.”

Mitchell, hired last month by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, previously headed fact-finding peace missions in Northern Ireland and the Middle East.

He sees few similarities between baseball and those endeavors.

“They’re all important, but in both those cases people were dying,” he said.

Mitchell downplayed criticism that there is a conflict for him to lead the probe since he is a director of the Boston Red Sox and chairman of The Walt Disney Co., the parent of ESPN, which is a national broadcast partner of baseball. ESPN also is televising Barry Bonds’ reality series.

“As far as criticism goes, you get criticized if you do something and criticized if you don’t do something,” Mitchell said.

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