Report: Manny, Ortiz tested positive

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Report: Manny, Ortiz tested positive

Post by Mr Moon on Thu 30 Jul 2009, 4:50 pm

Report: Manny, Ortiz tested positive

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were among the 104 major league players listed as having tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003, lawyers with knowledge of the results told The New York Times.

The two were key members of the Boston Red Sox World Series championship teams in 2004 and 2007.

The lawyers did not name the substances Ramirez and Ortiz tested positive for, The Times reported.

On Thursday, before the Red Sox-Athletics game at Fenway Park, when Ortiz was asked about the 2003 drug test, he told The Times: "I'm not talking about that anymore," he said. "I have no comment."

One Red Sox official told ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson that he had "no idea whatsoever" that both Ortiz and Ramirez were on the list, adding that the team has been relatively controversy-free this year.

"At least [manager Terry Francona's] at the helm in the clubhouse and he's a magician at keeping the guys focused," the team official said.

In his first at-bat Thursday, in the second inning, Ortiz doubled to deep left center. He grounded out to first in the third.

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, a longtime friend of Ortiz's, said he was shocked by the report.

"This hurts, this really hurts," Hunter told ESPN.com. "I don't know what to think about this. I guess you just never know what people do in the dark.

"I still love him but at the same time it's tough to hear that. I know it's going to be tough on him and tough on his family once this gets out. It's Big Papi, man, it's the Big Dog of Boston and he helped win two World Series with those guys, with the clutch hits. And now all those things are going to be tainted."

Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, would not comment Thursday, according to The Times.

Ramirez, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, recently came off a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy. The specific violation was never announced, but sources have told ESPN that testing during spring training this year revealed elevated levels of testosterone that had come from an artificial source.

Sources told ESPN that Ramirez was suspended because Major League Baseball had documentation to prove he had used hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, a female fertility drug that is used to restart a body's natural testosterone production as it comes off a steroid cycle.

In June, The Times reported Sammy Sosa was on the 2003 list. In February, SI.com reported that Alex Rodriguez was on the list, and subsequently, Rodriguez acknowledged having used banned substances from 2001 to 2003, when he was with the Texas Rangers.

Players were tested in 2003 as part of Major League Baseball's survey to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing in 2004. There were no penalties for a positive test in 2003.

As part of the drug agreement between the union and MLB, the results of the testing of 1,198 players also were meant to be anonymous. Penalties began in 2004, and suspensions for a first positive test started in 2005.

Government agents initially obtained search warrants in 2004 for the drug-testing records of 10 players as part of their BALCO investigation that led to Barry Bonds' perjury indictment, but they found the more expansive list on a spreadsheet, obtained additional warrants and seized the larger group of records.

The case over the legality of the search is mired in the court system, and eventually could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Times reported that the revelations about Ramirez and Ortiz came from multiple lawyers and other sources associated with the case pending.

"Whoever got that list is just playing with Major League Baseball right now," Hunter told ESPN.com. "Either put [the list] away, or just put it out. It was anonymous and now the names are leaking and it's a joke."

In February, shortly after Rodriguez confessed to using banned substances, Ortiz said publicly that players who tested positive for a substance that was banned at the time should be suspended for an entire year.

Once one of the most feared, clutch hitters in the league, Ortiz has struggled of late. After totaling 177 homers from 2004 to 2007, he did not hit his first homer this season until May 20. He played in only 109 games in 2008 because of wrist injuries.

"He's still my boy, no matter what," Hunter said. "David is a great person and I love him to death. Nothing going to change between us. I'm just shocked just like everybody else, that's all."

ESPN

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