SI: Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids
Sports Illustrated reports this morning that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003, the year in which baseball players were tested anonymously and without penalty to assess the level of steroid use in the game.
Of 1,198 players tested that year, SI reports that 104 tested positive. Barry Bonds has not been reported to be one of them, but the federal government re-submitted his 2003 test, which turned up positive for the designer steroid THG.
Under the agreement for the 2003 survey testing, no results or player names would be released. If at least 5% of the tests were positive, however, baseball would institute random testing, with players testing positive publicly identified and suspended.
The anonymity of the 2003 tests has been in question -- and still is being debated in the courts -- ever since the federal government seized those test results as part of the BALCO investigation.
In 2007, after Jose Canseco said he could not believe that Sen. George Mitchell had not included Rodriguez among the players in his report on baseball's steroid era, Rodriguez denied ever using steroids or other performance-enhancing substances.
In 2007, as Bonds shattered the all-time home run record, there was no shortage of baseball executives expressing a desire for Rodriguez to break Bonds' mark so the record would not be tainted. If the SI report is correct, so much for that wish.
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: Alex Rodriguez throws one of his batting gloves to the fans during a practice session with the Dominican Republic baseball team in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, on Tuesday. Rogriguez is joining the Dominican team to train for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Credit: Kena Betancur / Associated Press