In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.
Rodriguez's name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball's '03 survey testing, SI's sources say. As part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association, the testing was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.
When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. "You'll have to talk to the union," said Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, "I'm not saying anything."
If Rodriguez (and 103 other players) tested positive, why weren't they disciplined? Because the 2003 testing was part of a deal with players to conduct the testing but have the results remain anonymous. So nobody who tested positive in this process was punished.
The list of 104 players testing positive was obtained by federal investigators looking into the BALCO mess via a search warrant served on the lab that conducted some of the testing.
What impact might this have on Rodriguez? Probably none. If the guy can survive rumors he was fooling around with the married, 50-year-old Madonna, he can survive this hit, too.