SI.com reports: "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."
Reactions from two people whose opinions I respect, first Craig Calcaterra at The Hardball Times: "Given that it is now inevitable that all of the names who tested positive in 2003 will come out, maybe it's in the union's best interest to release every name now rather than deal with the drip, drip, dripping of names over time. Pull the band-aid off quickly, if you will. I know most players would never go for it, but we're getting into a situation where guys are going to be unduly pilloried as cheating freaks while other guys go scot free. A-Rod is going to take it on the chin major in the coming days and weeks. Doesn't fairness and historical accuracy and all of that demand that we know who else tested positive in 2003?
I'll grant that many of those points are colored by my own interest and may not all be what the players and the union and the league would like. But like they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let's do what the Mitchell Report didn't do and completely clear the decks on this. All names from 2003 out now. Let's end the parlor games and character assassination and get on with the business of fact-telling and the accurate chronicling of history."
Second, Tyler Hissey at Tyler's Articles: "This is clearly going to be a major distraction for Rodriguez and a public relations disaster for the Yankees. What is concerning to me, however, is that the results of these tests were supposed to remain confidential. The MLB Player's Union only agreed to the testing under the condition that the information would not be released to the public. The fact that this information has leaked out is concerning to me. While I am curious to see who the other 103 players were, it does not do any good to drag more players through the mud. It is not rocket science: a large percentage of players were using performance-enhancing drugs over the past two decades. Naming the star players now, though, only continues to make baseball's steroid problem front-page news."
One more note from the 2003-2006 Basic Agreement (at page 183 of the pdf): "(iv) At the conclusion of any Survey Test, and after the results of all tests have been calculated, all test results, including any identifying characteristics, will be destroyed in a process jointly supervised by the Office of the Commissioner and the Association."
My thoughts? I tend to side with my fellow Ohio Shyster Craig, get it all out now and move on. It isn't MLB/ownerships' fault this is coming out, it's the federal investigators doing the leaking. And why didn't the Players Association make sure the test results were destroyed as soon as the results were calculated? Your thoughts?