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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sammy Sosa Tested Positive for PED in 2003 Survey Testing

According to the New York Times, Sammy Sosa was one of the 104 players to test positive for a performance enhancing drug in Major League Baseball’s 2003 supposedly anonymous survey testing. The Times’ Michael Schmidt, cited "lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results" but said they did not know for which drug Sosa had tested positive.

There has been a legal battle about the 2003 test results since they were seized during the BALCO investigation in 2004. The issue became particularly controversial because investigators had a subpoena for 10 players connected to BALCO but seized the entire list.

There is some speculation that this could leave Sosa open to possible perjury charges stemming from his congressional testimony in 2005. The following is an excerpt from Sosa’s statement.

"To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything… I've not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic… I have been tested as recently as 2004, and I am clean."

According to ESPN, citing a "highly placed Major League Baseball source," eight of the 104 players that tested positive in 2003 did so for a substance that was not banned by Major League Baseball at the time.

So if it turns out that Sosa tested positive for something like Androstendione, he likely wouldn’t be the target of a perjury investigation. Andro was still legal in the United States and not banned by MLB until 2004 but may have returned a positive test. The use of Andro at that time would not contradict the above statement.

That being said, if Sosa tested positive for something that was banned by MLB at the time, like a controlled anabolic steroid (illegal without a valid prescription), it appears that a strong case could be made for perjury as his statements to congress were well after his positive test.

Sosa joins Alex Rodriguez, David Segui and Jason Grimsley as players who reportedly tested positive in 2003.

Baseball's Steroid Era is now keeping a running list of the 104 players that tested positive in 2003 as they continue to leak. The link is also permanently available in the sidebar under "Steroids in Baseball Resources."


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