Report: Sosa tested positive for performance enhancing drugs

Published 2:04 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NEW YORK — Sammy Sosa tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, The New York Times reported Tuesday on its Web site, the latest in a string of baseball stars implicated in the sport’s steroids scandal of the past decade.

The Times said Sosa is one of 104 players who tested positive in baseball’s anonymous 2003 survey, which has been the subject of a protracted court fight. The paper did not identify the drug.

It cited lawyers with knowledge of the 2003 drug-testing results and reported they spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to publicly discuss material under court seal.

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Sosa is sixth on baseball’s career home run list with 609, all but 64 for the Chicago Cubs. He has not played in the majors since 2007 with Texas.

In 2003, baseball did not have penalties for the first-time use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Sosa’s agent, Adam Katz, told The Associated Press he had no comment on the report. Commissioner’s office spokesman Rich Levin also had no comment, saying Major League Baseball didn’t have a copy of the test results.

Michael Weiner, the union general counsel, also declined comment. The union, while fighting to get the list back from the government, has mostly refused to discuss reports about the list because it does not want to confirm or deny who is on it.

Several of the game’s biggest stars, including home-run king Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, have been implicated in steroids use.

Miguel Tejada was sentenced to one year of probation for misleading Congress after he pleaded guilty and admitted he withheld information about an ex-teammate’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez is serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy. New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez in February admitted using steroids from 2001-03 with Texas following a report by Sports Illustrated that he was among the 104 players on the list.

Sosa sat alongside Palmeiro, Canseco and McGwire at a 2005 hearing before Congress and testified: ‘‘To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.’’

‘‘I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything,’’ he told the House Government Reform Committee on March 17, 2005.