Alex Rodriguez won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award when he played shortstop for the Texas Rangers back in 2003. But apparently he had a little help with his game. Four different sources have told Sports Illustrated that A-Rod tested positive for two anabolic steroids.
He was one of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs that year. A-Rod balked when Sports Illustrated confronted him about the steroid use at a Florida gym this week.
"You'll have to talk to the union," Rodriguez told the reporters. When asked if he could explain the positive results, A-Rod told them, "I'm not saying anything."
Rodriguez's name showed up on the list of players who tested positive in the Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing. The testing of nearly 2,000 players was part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association to find out how deep-seeded drug use was and whether mandatory random drug testing should be imposed across the league, according to Sports Illustrated.
A-Rod didn't get in trouble for his positive results because there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003, despite the fact that the MLB's drug policy had prohibited steroid use without a prescription for more than a decade. No one was even supposed to find out about the test results. They were supposed to be anonymous under the agreement, but the feds seized the tests a year later during the government probe of 10 MLB players connected to the BALCO scandal.
A-Rod was never linked to BALCO, the company that supplied high-profile athletes with human growth hormone for years, but his test results were seized along with everyone else's. More than 5 percent of the players tested in 2003 showed up positive, so the MLB imposed random testing with punishments for positive results in 2004.
The list of 104 players who tested positive in 2003 is under lock and key in California, but four independent sources familiar with the government evidence and testing results told Sports Illustrated that A-Rod's name was on it. He tested positive for testosterone and Primobolan, an anabolic steroid -- and went on to win his third league home run title in a row and an MVP award that year. With 553 career home runs, A-Rod is on his way to becoming the MLB's home run king.
In 2007, the Yankees signed the 33-year-old to a 10-year deal worth upwards of $305 million, according to Sports Illustrated. But it doesn't appear there will be any cash consequences for Rodriguez's actions. Sources told the magazine there aren't any stipulations in the contract about steroid use that could detract from A-Rod's $275 million in guarantees.