Early this year, we shared with you The Big Papi’s Steroid Plan, which called for the testing of every baseball player for banned substances, effectively scrapping the random testing practice in Major League Baseball. The Big Papi also wanted players who test positive to be banned for the entire season. This was in February, and the “plan” was shared by David Ortiz at the Red Sox spring training facility. What a difference 5 months can make; now, The Big Papi himself is on the hot seat.
According to several reports, Ortiz is among 104 pro baseball players who tested positive during testing performed by an independent laboratory in 2003, the results of which were reportedly turned over to the players’ union, destined to be destroyed. Hesitation on the part of the union in destroying the tests resulted in the seizure of the samples by federal agents as part of an investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by pro athletes. These samples are currently sealed by the court.
Ortiz and teammate Manny Rodriguez, who was given with a 50-game suspension this year, were among the athletes on the list. And Ortiz himself is reportedly surprised that he is on the list. He did not know that he had tested positive six years ago, and a call to the players’ union confirmed to him that the reports were true.
In a statement and during an interview, Ortiz has declared that he intends to find out exactly what substance he tested positive for, and that he intends to share what he learns with everyone. This is certainly a shocker for someone who has been an outspoken critic of steroid use.
It can be recalled, however, that Ortiz did say that he did not know whether he unknowingly took steroids in the Dominican Republic during his younger days. He also said that he had stopped purchasing protein shakes because he did not now for sure what these contained.