The steroid era has already claimed some of the most famous baseball players of the last 15-20 years. Alex Rodriguez faced the occasional rumor of steroid use, but had never been accused of steroids with any solid evidence. However, Sports Illustrated has found four sources that have leveled serious allegations about Alex Rodriguez using steroids – or at least testing positive for them.
Sports Illustrated broke the news this morning on their website that Alex Rodriguez is accused of testing positive for steroids in a 2003 drug test. Rodriguez was with the Texas Rangers in 2003, where he is accused of testing positive for two anabolic steroids.
Sports Illustrated’s sources told the magazine that Rodriguez was among 104 players who had a positive drug test in 2003. The tests were part of an agreement, in which baseball and the players union would determine if mandatory random drug tests were necessary throughout the league.
In 2003, there were no penalties for testing positive for steroids, but there were starting in 2004. However, the results of the 2003 drug tests, and Rodriguez’s alleged positive test, were kept anonymous under the agreement.
Federal agents got the results when they raided the Comprehensive Drug Testing Inc. of Long Beach, California. The lab was one of two that baseball used for the 2003 tests, and was raided in 2004 as part of the BALCO investigation.
Sports Illustrated’s sources consists of two people familiar with the government investigation into the baseball steroid era, and two others familiar with the 2003 tests. The sources were anonymous due to the sensitivity of the evidence, but they claim that Rodriguez tested positive for testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan.
The significance of 2003 is that it was a year where Rodriguez won the MVP, and won his third straight batting title. It was also the year before Rodriguez signed his record-breaking contract with the Yankees.
Rodriguez is widely expected to challenge Barry Bonds’ home-run record, in hopes that he could make the record legitimate again to many. But if the steroid allegations are true, it would be another blow to baseball and the record books.
Rodriguez was accused of using steroids before – naturally by Jose Canseco. In his 2007 book Vindicated, Canseco claimed that he introduced Rodriguez to a steroid supplier – and that Rodriguez was trying to sleep with Canseco’s wife.
Like with his first book, Juiced, few believed Canseco was telling the truth about his steroid stories at first. But Canseco was proven largely correct with Juiced, and now may get even more credit about his A-Rod allegations, if Sports Illustrated’s story has legs.
Rodriguez is already under fire from Joe Torre’s new book, in which Torre talks about the frosty relationship he had with the Yankees’ clubhouse and Derek Jeter.
SI.com- “Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in ’03, sources tell SI” sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/02/07/alex-rodriguez-steroids/
Defamer- “SI: Alex Rodriguez Tested Positive For Steroids” deadspin.com/5148698/si-alex-rodriguez-tested-positive-for-steroids