Report: A-Rod tested positive for steroids in ’03
Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids during his 2003 American League MVP season with the Texas Rangers, four sources independently told Sports Illustrated in a report published online Saturday.
Rodriguez’s name appeared on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey testing, SI said. He reportedly tested positive for testosterone and an anabolic steroid called Primobolan while playing for Texas.
There is no indication that Rodriguez has tested positive for steroids since 2003. When approached by SI’s Selena Roberts on Thursday at the University of Miami, Rodriguez refused to discuss the test results.
“You’ll have to talk to the union,” Rodriguez said. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, “I’m not saying anything.”
There were no penalties for a positive test in 2003, with testing conducted to determine if MLB would impose random drug testing for 2004. But MLB’s drug policy has expressly prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991.
The SI report also indicated, citing three Major League players, that Rodriguez had been tipped by MLBPA chief operating officer Gene Orza in early September 2004 that he would be tested later in the month. Rodriguez declined to respond to SI when asked about the warning Orza allegedly provided him.
When Orza was asked on Friday in the union’s New York City office about the tipping allegations, he told SI’s David Epstein, “I’m not interested in discussing this information with you.”
The full Sports Illustrated article is here. SI has even more information on A-Rod coming for their issue, available on newsstands Tuesday.
MLB’s executive vice president of labor relations,
Rob Manfred, issued a statement in response Saturday which read:
“We are disturbed by the allegations contained in the Sports
Illustrated news story which was posted online this morning. Because
the survey testing that took place in 2003 was intended to be
non-disciplinary and anonymous, we can not make any comment on the
accuracy of this report as it pertains to the player named.
“Based on the results of the 2003 tests, Major League Baseball
was able to institute a mandatory random-testing program with penalties
in 2004. Major League Baseball and the Players Association have
improved the drug testing program on several occasions so that it is
now the toughest program in professional sports. The program bans
stimulants, such as amphetamines, as well as steroids.
“Any allegation of tipping that took place under prior iterations of
the program is of grave concern to Major League Baseball, as such
behavior would constitute a serious breach of our agreement.
“Under Commissioner Selig’s leadership, Major League Baseball remains
fully committed to the elimination of the use of performance enhancing
substances from baseball. As the Commissioner has said, we will
continue to do everything within our power to eliminate the use of such
drugs and to protect the integrity of the program.”
Brian Cashman is declining comment today, but here is what he said last week about A-Rod — interesting that they have been keeping in touch more these days than ever.
“He’s excited. I talked to him the
other day. He’s worked hard like he always does and he’s excited about the new
acquisitions. He’s actually stayed more in touch with me this winter than any
other winter that I probably can remember. He was excited when we signed CC,
pushing me to get A.J., pushing me to get Andy, and pleasantly surprised and
probably blown away when we wound up with Teixeira at the same time. He’s
excited to go get after it, he’s going to go play in the WBC first, but his
attitude has been sky high and he’s looking to hit the ground running.”
Via ESPN, this from Fernando Montes, the former Rangers
director of conditioning:
“In 2003, Assistant GM Jon Daniels
asked me whether I thought Alex Rodriguez was using steroids and I said, ‘Yes.’
I had no evidence, but the level of performance did not match the level of work
in the weight room. We had no proof, because we couldn’t see test results.
Without a doubt, though, this was more than an educated guess. Jon Daniels knew
Daniels’ response to ESPN: “I have no
recollection of that conversation.”