George Mitchell's report on drugs in baseball will finger MVPs and All-Stars and call for beefed-up testing by an outside agency to clean up the game, the

Associated Press

learned yesterday.

The report will not address amphetamines, which long have been recognized as part of the baseball drug culture, two sources with knowledge of the findings told the AP. But it will include names of 60 to 80 players linked to performance-enhancing substances and plenty more information that exposes "deep problems" in a drug culture that plagues the sport, one of the sources said.

The two sources were familiar with discussions that led to the final draft but did not want to be identified because it was confidential until its scheduled release today. They said the full report totaled 304 pages plus exhibits.

The report comes at the end of a year when Giants outfielder Barry Bonds broke the career home run record, only to be indicted on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroid use.

The first part of the report, the sources said, will identify players and offer information about clubhouse personnel who allowed steroids and other banned substances in clubhouses or knew about it and didn't say anything.

None of the player names had leaked out last night.

The rest of the report, the sources said, will focus on recommendations that include enhanced year-round testing and hiring a drug-testing company that uses the highest standards of independence and transparency. Baseball's program currently is overseen by a joint management-union Health Policy Advisory Committee, with an independent administrator approved by both sides.

The report also is expected to recommend that baseball develop a credible program to handle cases with evidence of athletes receiving or taking drugs but not testing positive for them.

Mitchell, a Red Sox director who is a former Senate majority leader, planned to release his report at 2 p.m. today at a news conference in New York City.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will hold his own news conference 2 1/2 hours later.

Much of the first part of the report will be based on evidence obtained from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, and from information gleaned from the Albany district attorney's investigation into illegal drug distribution that focused on Signature Pharmacy, of Orlando, Fla., the sources said.

Radomski was required to cooperate with the investigation as a condition of his federal plea agreement last April. Radomski pleaded guilty to illegally distributing steroids, HGH, amphetamines and other drugs to players and is awaiting sentencing. Some professional athletes have been linked to the Signature probe, though none has been charged.

Noteworthy

* Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and the Chicago Cubs reached a preliminary agreement on a $48 million, 4-year contract.

In another matter, media conglomerate Tribune Co. said it anticipates closing on the sale of the Cubs as well as its stake in the local Comcast sports channel during the first half of next year.

* Second baseman Jeff Kent will return to play a fourth season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

* Lefthander Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees agreed to a $16 million, 1-year contract.

* Chris Gomez, a 15-year veteran utility infielder who split last season between Baltimore and Cleveland, agreed to a $1 million, 1-year contract with Pittsburgh.

* Outfielder Emil Brown will be a free agent after the Kansas City Royals announced they will not offer him a contract for 2008. *