Sports Illustrated has reported in an exclusive story Saturday, February 7, that Alex Rodriguez, the All-Star New York Yankees third basemen, tested positive for steroid use in 2003. The sports magazine states that it has confirmed through four different sources that Rodriguez, then playing for the Texas Rangers, tested positive for both testosterone and an anabolic steroid known by the brand name Primobolan.
Alex Rodriguez would go on to win the American League Most Valuable Player award that year and would subsequently be traded to the New York Yankees.
That year, 2003, was the first time Major League Baseball tested for performance enhancing drugs. At the time, there were no rules or regulations governing the use or misuse of PEDs, so there were no disciplinary measures in place. The following year saw the institution of disciplinary guidelines. The 2003 tests were euphemistically referred to as a “study.” A-Rod and 103 other Major League Baseball players tested positive for at least one PED.
The results of the “study” were to forever remain anonymous, but the seizure of records from a laboratory being investigated in the Balco case netted the test results.
A Sports Illustrated reporter asked the 32-year-old Rodriguez about the 2003 test results. A-Rod said, “I’m not saying anything.”
Previous to the seizure, Alex Rodriguez had not been connected to the Balco case, which was and is a federal investigation involving ten Major League Baseball players and their alleged steroids use centering around now defunct Balco laboratory.
A-Rod’s bad news comes just days after Barry Bonds received what might amount to very good news in his steroid case.
According to the Mercury News, federal prosecutors were dealt a blow in the perjury case against Barry Bonds Thursday, February 5, when U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said that she would most likely bar the government’s use of test evidence from Bonds’ positive steroids testing in 2000 and 2001 because there was no direct link between blood and urine samples that were supposedly Bonds’. Prosecutors argue that they have notes and documents tying Bonds to the samples, but Illston says that prosecutors must produce a witness.
Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty to ten counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice in the ongoing steroids case.
Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are just two players of many famous players suspected to be involved in widespread steroids use in Major League Baseball. The Mitchell Report, issued in 2007, implicated Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Giambi, Garry Sheffield, and Dave Justice among 80 ballplayers suspected of steroids use and chronicled in a scathing 411 pages. Bonds’ troubles stem from his testimony before a federal grand jury in 2003. Prosecutors maintain that he lied, perjuring himself, as he chased Major League Baseball’s all-time home run record.