Report claims Ramirez, Ortiz on 2003 PED list

Published 3:17 am Friday, July 31, 2009

NEW YORK — David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, the sluggers who led Boston to a pair of World Series championships, were among the more than 100 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to a report in The New York Times.

The article posted on the newspaper’s Web site Thursday cited lawyers involved in pending litigation over the testing results who spoke anonymously because the information is under seal by a court order.

Ortiz declined comment to the paper before the Red Sox played Oakland. The popular-but-slumping Big Papi had not been previously linked to positive tests.

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Ortiz came up in the second inning Thursday and was cheered by the sold-out crowd at Fenway Park. He lined the first pitch off the Green Monster for a double.

Ramirez, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

Major League Baseball declined to comment on the Times’ report, telling The Associated Press it didn’t have the list of the 104 players who tested positive six years ago. The players’ union also declined comment.

Red Sox owner John Henry did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

In 2004, Ortiz and Ramirez led Boston to their first World Series championship since 1918. The sluggers helped the Red Sox win another title in 2007.

The results from the 2003 tests were supposed to remain anonymous, but they later were seized by federal agents. Alex Rodriguez admitted using performance-enhancing drugs after he was linked to the 2003 list. And in June, The Times reported that Sammy Sosa also was on the 2003 list.