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Canseco stays jailed while lawyers cram for steroid science

By Harriet Ryan

Former baseball player Jose Canseco, right, talks with his attorney, Jayne Weintraub, after a hearing Monday.
Former baseball player Jose Canseco, right, talks with his attorney, Jayne Weintraub, after a hearing Monday.

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(Court TV) -- Former All-Star slugger Jose Canseco will remain behind bars while his lawyers take more time to prepare a defense to the charge that he used steroids while serving house arrest for a  nightclub assault, a Miami judge ruled Monday.

While the beefy outfielder, handcuffed and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and goatee, looked on quietly from the defense table, his lawyers told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Leonard Glick they needed more time to acquaint themselves with the science behind drug tests that detected the steroid Stanozol last month.

"We have no idea what we're talking about on this side of the table," said lawyer Jose Quinon, who described his recent crash course in drug metabolisms as "a nightmare experience."

After allowing brief testimony from a lab pathologist, Glick postponed further testimony until August 26.

If the judge finds the former league MVP violated the terms of his house arrest by using a controlled substance, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Canseco pleaded guilty in November to aggravated battery in a one-sided fight with two conventioneers at a South Beach hotspot. He was originally sentenced to three years probation, but after missing a court appearance, Glick ordered him to serve two years under house arrest.

In June, after a urine screening indicated steroid use, the judge threw Canseco in jail.

Canseco's lawyers have acknowledged he used the performance-enhancing drugs in the past, but deny he was using them while under house arrest. In court Monday, they appeared to suggest the test may have detected drug use before his home confinement.

Dr. James Shipe, the Virginia forensic pathologist who tested Canseco's urine, testified, however, that steroids injected in muscle tissue linger a maximum of eight weeks in the body.

Canseco gained notoriety after his 2001 retirement by asserting that 85 percent of pro baseball players relied on performance-enhancing drugs.

Glick denied several requests by Quinon and co-counsel Jayne Weintraub to have Canseco freed on bail. The judge released Canseco for five days earlier this month to spend time with his 6-year-old daughter, Josie.

Canseco's ex-wife, Jessica, was on hand Monday in hopes the judge would allow a similar furlough. Glick refused to do so, prompting Jessica Canseco to burst into tears.

Canseco's twin brother, Ozzie, who was involved in the nightclub fight and entered a similar plea, also appeared in court Monday. He is likewise accused of violating the terms of his plea by using steroids. His hearing was postponed after his new lawyer asked Judge Glick to recuse himself from the case because of a past conflict.

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