From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Debbie Elliott.

A former bat boy for the New York Mets has pleaded guilty to selling steroids and other drugs to Major League Baseball players. He has also agreed to cooperate with an ongoing probe of drug use in the industry and this could lead to the biggest break in the case in four years.

NPR's Allison Keyes explains.

ALLISON KEYES: Kirk Radomski entered his plea in a federal court in San Francisco yesterday. He admitted to distributing a cornucopia of performance-enhancing drugs. They ranged from anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to testosterone. Prosecutors call Radomski a major dealer and they say his clientele focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players. Radomski worked for the Mets from 1985 through 1995 in several capacities, including equipment manager. He's now a personal trainer.

According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, Radomski was the major source for baseball players' drugs after 2003. That's when the government shut down BALCO - the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative.

More than 30 athletes, including baseball stars like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, were subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury in the wake of the BALCO raid. The names of the baseballs players listed on the affidavit in the Radomski case are blacked out. But the document states that one of Radomski's customers is a major league player who was, quote, "publicly identified as being associated with BALCO labs."

Radomski has been cooperating since December 2005 with a probe in the drug use in Major League Baseball led by former Senator George Mitchell. Mitchell has complained that players were not cooperating with the investigation and he doesn't have subpoena power. So this could lead to a breakthrough in the case.

Major League Baseball issued a statement saying, it's encouraged that prosecutors insisted that Radomski cooperate in Mitchell's investigation. And it urged anyone connected with baseball to come forward with any information they may have.

Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.

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