Two of the Red Sox’ most prolific players from the 2004 Championship Team have apparently been the latest to be implicated in baseball’s on-going doping scandals:
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.
Some of baseball’s most cherished storylines of the past decade have been tainted by performance-enhancing drugs, including the accomplishments of record-setting home run hitters and dominating pitchers. Now, players with Boston’s championship teams of 2004 and 2007 have also been linked to doping.
Baseball first tested for steroids in 2003, and the results from that season were supposed to remain anonymous. But for reasons that have never been made clear, the results were never destroyed and the first batch of positives has come to be known among fans and people in baseball as “the list.” The information was later seized by federal agents investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, and the test results remain the subject of litigation between the baseball players union and the government.
Five others have been tied to positive tests from that year: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jason Grimsley and David Segui. Bonds, baseball’s career home runs leader, was not on the original list, although federal agents seized his 2003 sample and had it retested. Those results showed the presence of steroids, according to court documents.
The information about Ramirez and Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order. The lawyers did not identify which drugs were detected.
Unlike Ramirez, who recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ortiz had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing substances.
Scott Boras, the agent for Ramirez, would not comment Thursday.
Asked about the 2003 drug test on Thursday in Boston, Ortiz shrugged. “I’m not talking about that anymore,” he said. “I have no comment.”
If true, it’s just sad all around.