SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski avoided jail and was sentenced Friday to five years’ probation after cooperating with baseball’s investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Radomski was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston to pay an $18,575 fine after he admitted selling steroids, human growth hormone and speed to dozens of current and former major leaguers.

“These are very, very serious offenses,” said Illston, who lectured that some of Radomski’s best customers served as role models to children.

Radomski pleaded guilty last April to distributing steroids and laundering money from 1995 until Dec. 14, 2005, when agents raided his Long Island home. Radomski led investigators to Brian McNamee, the former Yankees strength coach who claimed he injected Roger Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone at least 16 times from 1998-01, an allegation the seven-time Cy Young Award winner vehemently denies.

As part of his plea agreement, Radomski was required to cooperate with federal investigators and former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who headed baseball’s doping probe.

Radomski is required to continue that cooperation. He is scheduled to testify along with Clemens and McNamee on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“It sounds like Radomski provided a lot of information that was helpful to the government,” said Earl Ward, McNamee’s lead lawyer. “They rewarded him for that.”

Radomski’s lawyer, John Reilly, said outside court that federal officials interviewed Radomski under oath Thursday, but declined to say whether Radomski was asked about Clemens. Radomski, who had no prior offenses, had faced no more than six months in prison. Assistant U.S. attorney Matt Parrella recommended that Radomski receive probation because of his extensive cooperation.

There’s a culture of “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” when it comes to steroid abuse in sports and Radomski’s naming of names “is at least a first step to turning that around,” Parrella said.

The 38-year-old Radomski walked timidly into court about 30 minutes before his case was called and was joined in the gallery by IRS Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, who sat next to Radomski.

Radomski said little when the judge asked him for his thoughts before meting out his sentence. He apologized to his family and friends and asked the judge for forgiveness.

“Our privacy has been seriously impacted,” he said. In a thick New York accent, he declined comment outside court.

Richard Emery, another on McNamee’s lawyers, said Clemens and the pitcher’s lead attorney should learn from the way Radomski was treated by prosecutors.

“Rusty Hardin and Roger Clemens ought to listen to Matt Parrella loudly and clearly and understand the jeopardy they’re putting Roger Clemens in by not cooperating and telling the truth,” Emery said.

Radomski’s downfall began in February 2005 when a person charged with real estate fraud who had a baseball contact agreed to work undercover with the FBI in exchange for leniency. The informant’s contact put that person in touch with Radomski. The informant bought steroids and made numerous telephone calls to Radomski throughout 2005, with federal investigators watching and listening the entire time.

The informant told investigators that Radomski became the biggest steroid supplier to baseball players in 2003 after federal authorities shut down the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, which was the headquarters of a performance-enhancing drug ring catering to elite athletes.

AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

AP-ES-02-08-08 1931EST

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