Story and Photo by Christian J. Stewart (ISN) – The Victoria Eagles baseball program was informed today that longtime coach and General Manager Gautam Srivastava is facing a number of criminal charges related to the production and distribution of steroids and other pharmecuticals. The charges are in no way associated with the Eagles program, nor related to any distribution of steroids to, or use of steroids by any Eagles player, or any other player under Srivastava's supervision over the years.
Victoria Eagles GM Gautam Srivastava, here speaking at the Eagles banquet last season, is facing a number of criminal charges relating production and distribution of steroids from a residence he co-owns in Vancouver (File Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The charges relate specifically to a property in Vancouver, co-owned by Srivastava and a number of others who are also co-accused in the matter, that was being used to either manufacture and / or distribute the drugs. Srivastava's name was also used in conjunction with the drug operation by the tenants.
Reached for comment earlier today, Srivatava emphasized, "I have never met the tennants of the property and those that are co-accused with me. I don't know them from Adam. My name is associated with the property because I am a co-owner and as such, because of their actions, I am being charged as well. I am not and have not been involved in this."
Srivastava also emphasized that these charges have absolutely nothing to do with the provision of, or use of steroids by any players in the Eagles organization, or any other teams that have come under his supervision in the past. "No, absolutely not," stated Srivastava. "This has never, ever been a consideration for me on any of the teams I have coached or been involved with."
This was also echoed by Victoria Eagles Chairman Martin Winstanley. "This news comes as a complete shock. Over the years, Gautam has been a valued contributor to the Eagles Baseball Program and we have had no indication of any issues related to these charges. Nor are we aware that any of these charges relate to any players in the Eagles organization using, or being provided with steroids. The Victoria Eagles, BC Baseball and the BCPBL oppose the use of all performance enhancing substances, including steroids and we are confident that Gautam was in compliance with that."
Srivastava has retained counsel and will now face the long-task of dealing with these charges and clearing his name.
In the meantime, until the charges are further investigated and resolved, the Eagles have suspended him from his duties with the organization. "We are confident that everything will work out for Gautam," said Winstanley, "but for now we felt it best to suspend him until everthing is cleared up."
Winstanley and other members of the Eagles organization and the Greater Victoria Baseball Association (the parent association of the Eagles) will be discussing the matter further at their February 12th board meeting.
Stay tuned for further details as this story evolves.